Jihadists urge French Muslims to join the fight

Three French jihadist fighters have called on Muslims in France to join their ranks in Syria, in a video clip released this week, which also sees them burning their French passports.

The clip, which is filmed in French and appeared online on Wednesday, shows the three Isis fighters believed to be from France, armed with Kalashnikovs issuing a rallying call to fellow Muslims backhome.

It will no doubt be a concern to French authorities who are desperate to stop the flow of French nationals to Syria and Iraq, which has topped 1,000.

In the video one of the men suggests Muslims should carry out attacks on French soil “so the simple act of going shopping becomes terrifying”.

Then the three men are shown burning their passports, with the clip showing at least two French passports and a driving license in flames.

The new video explicitly calls for retaliation against France for launching air strikes against the Islamic State group, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.

French prosecutors opened an investigation into the latest video on Thursday and intelligence sources told AFP they were working to identify the three Frenchmen, including with the use of facial recognition software.

The video comes after two French nationals were identified in a brutal video showing the mass beheading of Syrian soldiers.

On Wednesday French PM Manuel Valls revealed that the government believed almost 50 French nationals had died fighting in Syria.

Around 1,100 French citizens are believed to be currently fighting in either Syria or Iraq.

The French government has passed a stringent anti-terror bill in recent weeks aimed at preventing would-be jihadists from travelling to the Middle East.

As a proportion of their populations, Belgium and Denmark are the biggest contributors to the jihad in Iraq and Syria, although France – which has Europe's largest Muslim population – has sent the largest overall contingent.

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