French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb gestures during a press conference at his ministry in Paris,France, on July 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says the level of the terrorist threat in the country is “very high” as over 270 French nationals who have fought alongside Daesh in Iraq and Syria have returned home.
The French minister said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche on Sunday that France had seen 271 homegrown militants return from war zones in Iraq and Syria.
He said that the number included 217 adults and 54 minors, with “some” currently in detention.
Collomb revealed that an estimated 700 French militants had traveled to Iraq and Syria over the past years and that his country was wrestling with how to handle the flow of the radicals back to the European country.
He provided no information on the number of the French militants killed in the two war-stricken countries.
Collomb further said that more than 18,500 people were also being flagged under a preventative monitoring system for radicalized behavior in the country.
France has been on high alert since January 2015, when a Daesh attack killed 12 people in Paris.
Later, in November 2015, coordinated terrorist attacks by Daesh in Paris and Saint-Denis, a northern Parisian suburb, left 130 people dead and over 360 others injured. An attack in Nice claimed at least 84 lives in July last year, when a truck driven by a Daesh sympathizer plowed through crowds during Bastille Day celebrations.
Terrorists were also involved in two incidents this year, targeting police in the French capital.