It hasn’t only been the July 7th London bombers who have been attracting press attention for having bought return tickets: for some time now European-based Islamic radicals going to fight in Iraq have been causing concern amongst anti-terrorism experts due to the possibility they might one day return. This issue was first covered on Afoe back in July when Spanish police arrested 16 suspected Islamist militants accused of recruiting activists for the al-qaeda campaign in Iraq.
Subsequently there was a controversial CIA assessment which suggested that “Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early days”.
Today, Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten interviews leading French counterterrorism investigating judge Jean-Francois Ricard on the topic, who informed to Keaton: “They’re taking round trips… I have confirmation … of this return with action targeting our countries”.
In an interview with The Associated Press, judge Jean-Francois Ricard said some French militants travel to Iraq to carry out suicide attacks or fight Iraqi and U.S.-led forces, but others are going to get combat training for use at home.
“The return of some individuals is starting. They’re taking round trips. You can’t think that once in Iraq, there’s no return. It is not true,” he said.
“I have confirmation … of this return with action targeting our countries. We’ve been starting to see it this year, or in 2004. It’s very worrying.”
He declined to elaborate on how many French citizens might be involved.