French jihadists are fighting in the battle of Idlib against the Syrian regime. They follow the orders of the French jihadist recruiter Omar Omsen, who claimed independence for the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda.
The images show that dozens of French jihadists are active in Syria in the battle of Idleb.
“There are a few dozen people who have been in the region since 2013 and who have set up a camp on the Syrian-Turkish border,” said Wassim Nasr of FRANCE 24, a specialist in jihadist networks, who spoke for two hours via Skype with French recruiter Omar Omsen, head of the jihadist group Furkat-al-Ghuraba. Women and children are also there.
Having pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda on their arrival in Syria, these French jihadists “regained their independence in 2018”, according to Omar Omsen. Omsen maintains complicated relationships with local jihadist leaders and occupies paradoxical positions, according to Nasr. “He spoke out against the Nice attacks, which affected civilians, but maintains that the Charlie Hebdo attack was legitimate,” said Nasr.
“France has put a price on my head,” said Omsen. “But I never called for attacks in France and I even prevented them,” said the jihadist recruiter.