Scale of ISIS recruitment in France is being underestimated – jihadist’s mother

Fighters of the Islamic State © Reuters
The official numbers on Islamic State recruitment in France downgrade the real figures as many families refuse to admit that their children have fled to join the jihadists, the mother of a French-born militant who was killed in Syria has told RT.

“My son is one of many Europeans who left their countries to join the caliphate [Islamic State/IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] for reasons I can’t explain,” Veronique Roy said.

According to Roy, before being brainwashed by IS, her child was “an ordinary student who loved his family.”

“He was converted in late 2012. He admitted it later the same year and left us in 2014… His death was confirmed to us in January 2016,” Roy told RT.

The mother blamed the inaction of the local authorities in the commune of Sevran in the northeastern suburbs of Paris for her son and other youngsters joining the jihadists.


“We had a mosque. In fact, it was a prayer home, which we called Daesh Mosque,” she said, using the pejorative Arabic term for IS. “It wasn’t authorized and it’s closed now.”

Veronique Roy, her son and family. © RT

“Since 2014 our mayor knew that the prayer hall was dangerous, but he failed to close it back then and never informed us [of the threat],” Roy added.

She stressed that recruiting for Islamic State has already become a well-organized “business” in France.

“Our children didn’t invent Daesh. They didn’t invent the war in Syria. There are people in France who are recruiting them; who have built networks… People are being paid to send young men to war,” she said.

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According to Roy, all of those who went to Syria from the commune used to attend the illegal prayer hall.

And the number of those who left is a lot higher than is acknowledged by the French and EU authorities, she stressed.

Veronique Roy’s son after joining the jihadists. © RT

“Some parents haven’t admitted that their children are missing. And I think the official figures are less than the real figures,” the mother said.

At least 15 people were reportedly recruited by the jihadists in Sevran since 2014. The district, which has an unemployment rate of 40 percent, is now often compared to the terrorist hotbed of Molenbeek in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

READ MORE: Russian passport found in Syria leads RT to ISIS militant’s home (EXCLUSIVE)

Last week, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova announced that between 5,000 and 6,000 Europeans have traveled to Syria to join Islamic State, noting that 1,450 of them are French citizens.