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'French family of 11' en route for jihad in Syria

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Members of the Isis group of Islamic fighters in a show of strength. Photo: AFP
14:30 CEST+02:00
An investigation has been opened by anti-terror police after reports in France said eleven members of one family including the grandmother and six-month-old baby, have left the country bound for Syria in the hope of joining Isis extremists.

There are already believed to be hundreds of French nationals fighting a jihad in Syria and they could soon see their numbers swelled by eleven members of the same family.

According to reports in France three generations of the family from Nice left for Turkey, from where they hope to cross the border into Syria.

The family members include the grandmother, her three children, their partners and their children – the youngest of which is said to be six months old.

Several members of the group have become radicalised in recent months, reports say and all contact with the family was lost in September.

The alert was raised by the grandfather when two of his grandchildren did not attend school this week. When he checked his daughter's Twitter he account he saw that she had posted photos from Turkey.

France’s anti-terrorist police the DGSI has launched a probe to try to confirm the reports and track down the family.

It’s not the first time that reports have emerged in France of families leaving together to fight Jihad in Syria.

Last month, a couple from Orleans left with their three-year-old daughter to fight alongside Isis forces in Syria.

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In an interview with French television the couple, who left everything behind, said they wanted to join the “great heros” in the fight against the “infidels”.

Since 2012 it’s estimated that around 150 French nationals have joined Isis forces but estimates say hundreds more have left to fight jihad in Syria - all from varied backgrounds, dispelling widely-held beliefs that most are disadvantaged, lost youths, experts say.

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