More Jews Have Joined Islamic State, French Official Says

A handful of Jews, some converts to Islam, among 1,000 French citizens who have joined jihad, Channel 2 reports.

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Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they carry the group's flags in Iraq.
Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they carry the group's flags in Iraq.Credit: AP
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Haaretz

There are a number of Jews among the more than 1,000 French citizens who have joined the Islamic State, a French government official told Israel's Channel 2 news.

Citing figures compiled by the French Interior Ministry, the official on Monday said intelligence shows there are people "of Jewish extraction," some of whom converted to Islam, among those who joined the jihadist group.

The official emphasized that there are only a small handful of Jews among the IS recruits – not enough to consider it a trend.

The revelation comes just days after reports surfaced that a French Jewish teenager was among the approximately 100 young women who have left France to join jihad in Syria during the past year and a half.

Meyer Habib, a Jewish member of the French parliament, said the suspected jihadis were the topic of conversation among France's Jewish community. However, he claimed, there is no official proof they actually joined IS.

If a Jewish girl did join the Islamic State, "it really is the end of the world" and complicates matters, Habib told Channel 2.

One French rabbi said the issue was of great concern to many in the Jewish community. "It is inconceivable that this would happen," he told Channel 2. "There are many rumors swirling and we hope an official source will update us. Some say the Jewish girl converted, and that is also disconcerting."

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