#AceNewsServices – PARIS – May 13 – French police arrested six people Tuesday in north-eastern France in a round-up of suspected jihadists’ who recently traveled to fight in Syria‘s civil war, the interior ministry said.
The sweep around dawn in Strasbourg came weeks after authorities announced a new push to prevent French militants from travelling to Syria, part of measures by many European governments to reduce the appeal of jihad.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the six were suspected of participating in a jihadist network, and recently travelled to Syria — though he did not provide details.
In a brief statement at his ministry, Cazeneuve said the sweep “went down perfectly” and showed “the total determination of the government to fight with all its power against terrorism and the enlisting of youths in violent radicalization.” The suspects were in police custody.
Cazeneuve didn’t make any reference to a news report on Europe-1 radio earlier saying that the sweep involved a police investigation of 14 young men who had told their parents they were going on vacation in December but instead went to southern Turkey and eventually to Syria.
The minister said an investigating judge is handling the case, and declined to comment further.
Contacted by The Associated Press, spokespeople for the national police and the Paris prosecutor’s office — which handles terrorism cases across France — said they had no further information immediately.