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French government announces new measures to counter its citizens joining the Syrian conflict

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French government announces new measures to counter its citizens joining the Syrian conflict

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The French government has announced its intention to enhance surveillance of Islamist websites that recruit fighters and to block assets of people behind them. Paris will also push its European partners to close down extremist sites.

They are among some 20 measures unveiled on Wednesday by the French government.

“These measures are simple. Minors who are brought to our attention by their parents will be included in the Schengen information system so that all the European countries are able to work towards preventing their departure,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters.

Last week Interpol revealed it was searching for two Austrian teenagers who it’s believed had left for Syria to fight as jihadists.

In France it’s estimated around 700 nationals are directly or indirectly involved in the conflict.

The government has come under criticism for not acting to stop its nationals some as young as 15 from heading to Syria.

Analysts believe Syria has become a magnet for young Muslims throughout Europe to take part in jihad – a holy war.

The French government hopes clamping down will prevent them becoming radicalised and posing a threat to their home country.