How Islamic extremists convinced two French schoolgirls to join jihad in Syria
Sahra and Nora are among some 100 girls and young women from France who have left to join jihad in Syria, up from just a handful 18 months ago, when the trip was not even on Europe’s security radar, officials say. They come from all walks of life - first- and second-generation immigrants from Muslim countries, white French backgrounds, even a Jewish girl, according to a security official who spoke anonymously because rules forbid him to discuss open investigations.
She was recruited on Facebook. Her family does not know exactly how, but the propaganda videos making the rounds there rely heavily on the ideals and fantasies of teenage girls, showing veiled women firing machine guns and Syrian children killed in warfare. The French-language videos also refer repeatedly to France’s decision to ban the all-encompassing veil and limit the use of headscarves in public, a sore point among many Muslims.
Nora was 15 when she departed for school on Jan. 23 and never came back.