France seizes passports of six nationals heading for Syria
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that six French nationals, suspected of planning to leave for Syria, had their passports confiscated by the authorities. This is a first in France since the right to remove a passport was introduced as part of a counterterrorism law in November.
The passports of the six adult men as well as their identity cards were seized for a six-month renewable period.
According to the French intelligence services, the six men’s departure for Syria was “imminent”.
“About 40 cases are currently under investigation”, the source added.
The ban to leave the country has been implemented as part of the antiterrorism law voted through in November which aims to prevent departures to Syria. It had never been implemented before.
French antiterrorism services are highly concerned about French citizens leaving to join jihadist groups in Iraq and in Syria. The question of their return to France and of their surveillance is one of their main worries.
About 1,400 French nationals or people living in France have been identified as “being connected with these networks”, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced last month.
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