Second French suspect in Isis beheading video

France confirmed on Wednesday that a second Frenchman had been identified in the shocking Isis video showing the beheading of Syrian prisoners. A source claimed the man was a 22-year-old from an eastern suburb of Paris.

Second French suspect in Isis beheading video
Frenchman Maxime Hauchard, one of two French nationals identified in a brutal Isis video. Photo: AFP

A second Frenchman who appeared among Islamic State jihadists in a grisly execution video has been identified as a 22-year-old man from an eastern suburb of Paris, a source close to the case said Wednesday.

President Francois Hollande earlier confirmed a second Frenchman was spotted in the video showing the beheading of Syrian prisoners, who the source said went by the name Abu Othman.

The two Frenchmen are seen in the brutal clip released by the IS group on Sunday which features the killing of 18 Syrian prisoners and a US aid worker.

"All we can say for now is that there were two French people," he told a press conference in Canberra alongside Australian leader Tony Abbott.

"One has been categorically identified and the other one is in the process of being identified."

French prosecutors have confirmed the first was 22-year-old Maxime Hauchard from Normandy in northern France but the identity of what they said was a possible second Frenchman was not given.

Hollande said it was not clear exactly what role the men played in the beheadings and that "the judicial system will have to establish this".

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in Paris that Hauchard left for Syria "in August 2013 after a stay in Mauritania in 2012" after reportedly becoming radicalised online.

Around 1,000 French nationals are thought to have taken part in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, with around 375 currently there, the government has said. At least 36 have died there.

Hollande said the issue of foreign fighters and how they were being "brainwashed" was a major concern.

"They could be from any background, from any ethnic origin, but they easily can be brainwashed into becoming converts, and this is a very important matter," he said.

"We must be vigilant, and we must be strong.

"We must be firm in terms of the networks and in terms of these foreign fighters themselves who will have to face the consequences of their actions before the judicial system when at one point or another they are able to be apprehended, whether in France or abroad."

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Macron says Isis defeat removes ‘significant threat’ to France

President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday that the fall of the last bastion held by Islamic State (Isis) jihadists in Syria removed a source of potential terror attacks against France by fighters based in the so-called "caliphate".

Macron says Isis defeat removes 'significant threat' to France
Photo: AFP

“A significant threat to our country” has been “eliminated”, Macron said on Twitter, while warning that “the threat remains and the fight against terrorist groups must continue.”

Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old “caliphate” on Saturday, after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.

Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raised their yellow flag in Baghouz, the remote riverside village where diehard jihadists of a variety of nationalities made a desperate, dramatic last stand.

The SDF's victory capped a deadly six-month operation against the final remnants of the caliphate which once stretched across a vast swathe of Iraq and Syria, and held seven million people in its sway.    

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