Report: Islamic radicals in France target youth

June 3, 2006 19:22


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Islamic extremists in France are speeding up recruitment and reaching people younger and younger, according to a new intelligence report cited by a French newspaper Saturday. The document said women are playing an increasing role in radicalizing fellow Muslims, but noted that extremists remain a very small minority, about 5,000 of the nation's 5 million Muslims, Le Figaro newspaper reported. Radicalization is happening "faster and faster and younger and younger," said the document from the Renseignements Generaux, France's chief intelligence agency, according to Figaro. Recruiters often target disadvantaged youths of North African origin in bleak suburban housing projects, offering "to help overcome difficulties of daily life" before trying to convert them to radical Islam, the report was quoted as saying. Such neighborhoods were hit by a wave of riots last year, though police said Islamic extremists played no role in that unrest.

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