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France grapples with home-grown Jihadism

PTI 21 November 2014, 9:54

Paris: A horrified France was grappling with a new reality today in which hundreds of its citizens are openly joining jihadist groups and directly calling for attacks on their homeland.

A new video from the Islamic State group released on jihadist forums and Twitter yesterday showed three Kalashnikov-wielding Frenchmen burning their passports and calling on Muslims to join them or stage attacks in France.

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.

The violence continued on the ground with IS claiming a rare suicide car bombing in the usually secure capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region that killed four people a day earlier.

Also in Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Iraqi counterpart Haidar al-Abadi held talks on security cooperation, pointing towards a possible easing in the long-strained ties between their countries.

The latest IS propaganda film follows the appearance of a grisly IS execution video at the weekend that featured at least one French citizen -- 22-year-old Maxime Hauchard.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on yesterday that France would step up its campaign against the jihadists, sending six Mirage fighter jets to Jordan in December.

France currently has nine Rafale jets based in the more distant United Arab Emirates as part of a US-led international campaign to provide air support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the group.