Abdallah Azzam: the man who democratised jihad in Afghanistan


With the Taliban in control after the dramatic fall of Kabul, signalling the defeat of the United States after a 20-year war, the eyes of the world are now on Afghanistan. Mediapart looks back at the recent history of the country and in particular how its arid Hindu Kush mountain range became the birthplace of global jihad. As Jean-Pierre Perrin reports in the first of a series of articles, it all began with the arrival of the Palestinian preacher Abdallah Azzam in Peshawar, Pakistan, at the start of the 1980s.

French prosecutor to decide whether parents can name son 'Jihad'

France — Link

The French public prosecutor's office in the southern city of Toulouseis to decide on whether the parents of a baby boy are legally entitled to name him Jihad, a phonetic spelling from the Arabic meaning "struggle" and which has become a common term adopted by Islamic fundamentalists engaged in terrorist attacks, which have claimed more than 230 lives in France over the past two years.

Wanted French jihadist jailed on return from Syria

International — Link

Kevin Guiavarch, 24, was arrested for suspected terrorist activities following his extradition to France from Turkey where he reportedly surrendered himself claiming he was 'repentant' after joining the Islamic State group in Syria.

The story of a French jihadist who returned from Syria


A French jihadist who enrolled in Syria with the al-Nusra Front, allied to al-Qaeda, speaks here about the reasons he left for the war-torn country, his life on the ground and what happened when he returned to France where he is now due to be tried on charges of helping to prepare a terrorist attack. In this, his first interview, the young Muslim convert tells Feriel Alouti: “I don’t minimize what I did but was I a threat to France at any given moment? I went there to help Syrians, not to kill French people”.

France launches anti-jihad video campaign

International — Link

The four videos to be aired on TV show the anguish of families of radicalised youngsters who left the country to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria.

French jihadist, 60, sentenced by Paris court to eight years in jail

International — Link

Gilles Le Guen, arrested in Mali by French troops, is the first to be convicted under a 2012 law allowing prosecution for waging Jihad abroad.

France seizes passports of six 'Syria-bound' citizens

France — Link

Officials say the move, carried out under new counter-terrorism laws, came amid fears the men wanted to join Islamic State.

Anti-jihadist raids net five in France, three in Belgium

France — Link

Two of the men arrested in the southern town of Lunel had returned from Syria, according to French police sources.

The 'culture of violence and resentment' that fuels French jihadists

France — Interview

The shooting attacks in Paris last week claimed the lives of a total of 17 victims and ended with the deaths of the three gunmen. The outrages, perpetrated by Islamic extremists and which began with the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine before the separate murders of two police officers and the executions of four hostages in a Jewish supermarket, have opened a vast societal debate in France. There have been comparisons made with the 9/11 attacks in the United States, questions raised about the true significance of the national unity displayed during last Sunday’s huge marches in defiance of terrorism, about the real extent of integration, and stigmatization, of the French Muslim population, and why the jihad increasingly lures some young French citizens. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, Olivier Roy, a recognised expert in France and abroad on questions of Islam and religious fundamentalism, discusses these and related issues, and highlights the taboos that cloud an effective analysis of the events.

Charlie Hebdo suspects killed in firefight as sieges end in bloodshed


Chérif Kouachi and Saïd Kouachi, the two men wanted for the shooting massacre of 12 people in an attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, were killed by police late Friday afternoon after an eight-hour siege of a building close to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. Meanwhile, Amedy Coulibaly, a gunman reported to have jihadist links to the Kouachi brothers, was also killed by police after they stormed a kosher supermarket in south-east Paris where earlier on Friday he had taken 16 people hostage. Four of the hostages died, apparently murdered by Coulibaly at the start of the siege, and another four were reported to be seriously wounded. In a phone interview with French TV station BFMTV before he died, Chérif Kouachi said he represented al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch, while Coulibaly apparently told the station he represented the organisation Islamic State and was acting in "synchronisation" with the Kouachi brothers. Meanwhile, police in France are still hunting a woman described as the partner and accomplice of Coulibaly’s, and who is said to be potentially “armed and dangerous”. This report by Michael Streeter and Graham Tearse.

Mother sues France over jihadist son’s trip to Syria

France — Link

Mother says authorities should have done more to stop her 16-year-old son from making the journey to the war-torn country.

French jihadist reportedly in IS video came from ‘devout Catholic family’

International — Link

Mickaël Dos Santos, 22, of Portuguese descent converted to Islam when a teen and was first notice by anti-terrorism police in 2013.

French jihadists 'identified' on IS hostage killings video

International — Link

Two French jihadists, one a 22-year-old convert from Normandy, reportedly feature in the film of the beheadings of Syrian servicemen.

Key French jihadist believed dead in Syria airstrike

France — Link

Muslim convert David Drugeon, 24, was a bomb-maker said to be working with al-Qaeda veterans accused of plotting attacks on the West. 

French family of 11 believed to have left for Syria jihad

International — Link

The family group, which includes a baby and other children, are believed to have left their home in Nice in late September.