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ISIS-related arrests in US, Europe, Australia as intel warns of ‘gruesome’ attacks

From RT (source article): “The world is in the midst of a global crackdown on Islamic State and its ideas. European, American and Australian mass arrests were carried out amid frightening intelligence reports, as the US continues efforts at building an anti-IS coalition.

The effort to clamp down on any affiliation to the terrorist group has reached as far as France, the US, Spain and other countries – even the partially-recognized Kosovo.

Six potential recruits have been arrested in France, a judicial source said on Wednesday, with the number of French nationals traveling to sections of Syria and Iraq partly-controlled by the IS (formerly ISIS or ISIL) continuing to rise.

Two of the detained on Tuesday are minors, while another pair is a brother and sister; one other suspect is believed to be linked to Forsane Alizza (Knight of Pride), an organization calling for France to become an Islamic caliphate. It was banned in 2012.

As in the case with Britain and the United States, France worries its nationals will soon be returning with the training and determination to carry out terrorist attacks on home soil. The number of French having already gone off to fight and come back has risen to 930, according to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

That is a 74 percent increase in just eight months, authorities say. Currently, 175 are being monitored back home. But truly worrying is the French proportion of the total number of Europeans, which is approximately 2,000.

Young girls are being increasingly targeted. A few weeks back a series of detentions of young women around France, including a 16-year-old, took place. In one shocking example, a 15-year-old girl left the country believing herself to be on a humanitarian aid mission. She has not returned.

The National Assembly has just made it a criminal offense “[to plan] to travel abroad to take part in terrorist activities, war crime or crimes against humanity or in a theater of operations of terrorist groups.”

This follows on from Spain, which altered its penal code to prevent Spaniards from traveling to conflict zones to join up with radical groups, punishing those who do with terrorism charges.

José Manuel García Margallo, Spain’s foreign minister, has called on increased cooperation with international efforts on Tuesday, following accusations that the country isn’t doing enough to fight the IS.

“Spain has never been one to watch the bullfight from behind the barriers,” he was quoted by the EFE news agency as saying. “We have been and we will be wherever our presence is needed and can be put to good use,” he also told parliament, adding that the country has already taken part in a number of missions abroad as part of what he calls “one of the most complex threats of our time.”

The criminal code enactment is yet to come into effect, but the FM did highlight that another, more comprehensive, series will follow in its footsteps.

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Royce Christyn
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