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Report: Dozens Of Former French Soldiers Joined Jihadist Groups In Middle East
Dozens Of Former French Soldiers Joined Jihadist Groups In Middle East, New Report Reveals
by David Chazan, Paris
Islamist groups have recruited dozens of former French soldiers, a troubling new report has revealed less than three months after a terrorist attack by a staff member at police headquarters in Paris shocked the nation.
More than a third of the ex-servicemen are converts to Islam and nearly half served in elite Foreign Legion, parachute, commando or marine units where they acquired expertise in combat and handling weapons and explosives.
The conservative newspaper Le Figaro published excerpts on Wednesday from the forthcoming report by the Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism, a Paris-based think tank.
The report says the French army “constitutes a strategic recruitment target for terrorist groups… and former soldiers represent tremendous assets for these groups.”