A French national suspected of being a high-rank Daesh recruiter and financier will appear in court on Saturday after his extradition from Turkey, where he was detained upon his return from Syria after fleeing the ranks of the terrorist group.
The suspect, identified as Kevin G. of Breton origin, is among the first French nationals to depart for Syria, France 24 reported, and he is believed to have organized the departure of others seeking to fight in Syria. The 24-year-old man first joined Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate Nusra Front at the end of 2012, later to join Daesh.
He was also being suspected of financing the terrorist group, leading the United Nations to place him into the dangerous fighters blacklist in September 2014.
He reportedly left Syria in June 2016 along with his four wives and six children, and he claimed in a letter addressed to the French authorities that he repented Daesh terrorist group. He and his family were detained after crossing the border into Turkey, where they remained under arrest for links with the terrorist group and questioned by Turkish authorities.
Turkey first extradited four women to France in October and November 2016. Kevin G. was also extradited on Friday and detained immediately after landing in Paris.
French authorities hope to receive some useful information from Kevin G. on Daesh’s organization network and sources of funding.
Kevin G. reportedly converted to Islam at the age of 14. French authorities first started probing him in 2014 upon the disappearance of a teenager – who was later reunited with her family in Germany – from the city of Troyes to depart for Syria. An investigation pointed to Kevin G.’s role in recruiting the young girl through social media.
It was also revealed that he used his mother to bring together donations coming from all over the world and send them to a Daesh-linked recipient in Turkey via Western Union. Three people including the mother were placed under judicial supervision for their role in funding the terrorist group.
According to AFP, around 700 French nationals are currently in Iraq and Syria fighting in the ranks of Daesh. More than 200 others have died while fighting in Syria. The number of convicts for links with Daesh or conspiring for attacks on behalf of the terrorist group was 348 as of Dec. 31, 2016.
Amid baseless allegations on supporting the terrorist group, Turkish officials have bitterly criticized their European counterparts for the lack of cooperation in the fight against Daesh. Since 2011, Turkey has deported more than 3,700 foreign fighters to their countries of origin, while showing extensive efforts to crack down on Daesh’s organization inside the country and monitor its 900-kilometer long border with Syria. On late 2014, Turkey started targeting the terrorist group in air and artillery strikes, while on Aug. 24, it launched Operation Euphrates Shield with Free Syrian Army (FSA) to increase security in border areas and clear Daesh and YPG from Aleppo countryside.
Turkey also accuses Europe of showing a hypocritical stance against terrorism as its requests on extradition for convicts or suspects linked to the PKK or DHKP-C terrorist groups are constantly being ignored, while their sympathizers freely conduct fundraising, recruiting and propaganda activities.