PARIS — A man suspected of being one of the main recruiters of French jihadists for ISIS was placed in the hands of judicial authorities in Paris on Thursday after his arrest in Turkey last month, France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. ISIS militants have seized a third of Syria — where they are fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces — and, over the last four months, have also taken and held a third of Iraq.
Mourad Fares "is a particularly dangerous individual who is close to the jihadist terrorists Islamic State," Cazeneuve said in a statement. He described Fares' role as an important one in the recruitment of young French jihadis in the cities of Toulouse and Strasbourg and in their dispatch to fight in Syria. French authorities issued a warrant for Fares's arrest in July, said the statement, which noted "excellent co-operation between French and Turkish authorities" in the case. According to RTL radio, Fares is French-Morroccan, originally from the Haute-Savoie region of southeast France and had been in Syria from July 2013. As of mid-August, some 350 French people were fighting in Syria and Iraq, up 50 percent from six months ago, according to Socialist MP Sebastien Pietrasanta, who is leading a bid to enact a law in parliament aimed at curbing that exodus.