Feb. 14 - The exodus of French volunteers for jihad in Syria is growing, says a top anti-terror judge as French judicial authorities grapple with a fresh wave of young recruits. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant releases video of so-called fighters in Syria. A young Frenchman named Nicholas Bons is featured. He says he is French, that his parents are both French and he converted to Islam. He says jihad in Syria is mandatory. He blew himself up in a suicide attack in December in Homs. He used a car bomb which exploded near a primary school and killed eight people. With Europe's largest Muslim population, France is becoming a major center for recruitment. Top anti-terror judge Marc Trevidic judge says a mediator is needed to advise young recruits that Islam doesn't require anyone to go fighting at the "other end of the planet." (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH ANTI-TERROR JUDGE MARC TREVIDIC SAYING: "So far, we have only relied on anti-terrorist justice, this means on crackdown only, and that's a failure. It's an obvious observation, it's a failure." In January French President Francois Hollande said hundreds of French nationals have traveled to fight in Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "A number of young French and young foreigners living legally in France are leaving for Syria to fight. 700. It is a lot. Some died. I still have in mind the testimony of a mother, who lost two of her relatives, two of her children. So we must also warn them, and fight against a number of networks which support terrorism." Three young French men were arrested in May 2012 as they were preparing to fly to Turkey and appeared in court in Paris on February 4, for questioning. Nicolas Bons also appears in the video next to his half-brother 21-year old Jean-Daniel,who went with him to fight in Syria. He was killed in clashes in Aleppo.