A 45-year-old man was arrested in Herault, as he was planning to leave for Syria on his sailboat from southern France. The man was planning to take part in jihad, along with his 21-year-old accomplice.
According to the BFMTV, the man was living on his boat and was arrested before leaving port, by the men from the General Directorate of Homeland Security (DGSI), on May 18, 2018. His partner was also supposed to have his seat on board, but was arrested a few days later in Isère, central France, on May 26, 2018.
The BFMTV wrote, “The project was visibly very advanced.” The suspect had precisely mapped out several possible navigation routes connecting the Herault to Syria. He was fully prepared, and had stocked up his boat with sufficient water and food for his weeks-long sailing trip.
As per the report, he was planning to take along his 10-year-old for his criminal adventure. However, the child’s mother alerted the authorities and the suspect’s plan was foiled. Both the men were taken into custody and placed in pre-trial detention. They were accused for criminal terrorist criminal conspiracy.
During the exchanges with the suspect, the investors found that he “wanted to join the troops of Omar Omsen.”
Omar is a French-Senegalese terrorist, who is linked to Al-Qaeda. He was a criminal from Nice, who went to Syria in 2013.
Jean-Charles Brisard, president of the Center for Terrorism Analysis, told BFMTV, “Omar Omsen and his brigade have long been the main recruiters of French jihadists, Omar Omsen has helped bring a hundred jihadists from all parts of France, not just from Nice where he is from. Continues to be active in the area, despite pressure from the coalition, Turkey and other local forces.”
The attempts of travelling from France to Syria have significantly declines in 2017. However, jihad volunteers are relying on uncommon routes and means of transportation.