by WorldTribune Staff, November 2, 2018
Seven Syrians, all members of the same family, who had pledged allegiance online to Islamic State (ISIS) were arrested in Paris by French authorities despite liberalized laws on viewing jihadist Internet sites.
Heavily armed police stormed the family’s residence in the Sablons district on Oct. 30, arresting seven members of the large family which included five children, the oldest in their 20s and one aged 12 who was not arrested, according to sources close to the investigation, France Bleu reported.
ISIS has carried out a number of high-profile terrorist attacks in France in recent years, including the 2015 Bataclan massacre, the 2016 Nice attack, and most recently the supermarket terror attack in Trebes that saw the death of police officer Arnaud Beltrame who was killed after exchanging himself for a hostage.
A total of five major terrorist attacks have been foiled in France this year, according to French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
ISIS has long considered France a target to recruit new fighters and supporters through the Internet. The suspects arrested in Sablons were suspected of uploading videos pledging allegiance to ISIS to the Internet, authorities said.
Until last year it was illegal for French Internet users to visit pro-jihadi websites.
That law was overturned in December by a French court that stipulated: “The visiting [of the websites] must be accompanied by the manifestation of adherence to the ideology expressed on the sites visited; this visiting and this event are not likely to establish by themselves the existence of a will to commit terrorist acts.”