Police identify French Islamist killed in Fallujah

22nd October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 22 (AFP) - Intelligence agents have identified the first French national known to have been killed fighting with the insurgency against US forces in Iraq, officials said Friday.

PARIS, Oct 22 (AFP) - Intelligence agents have identified the first French national known to have been killed fighting with the insurgency against US forces in Iraq, officials said Friday.

The 19-year-old, named as Redouane El Hakim, is believed to have travelled to Iraq via Syria at the start of the year and been killed in a US bombardment on Fallujah in July.

Officials close to the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hakim was one of several French citizens of Muslim background who have gone to Iraq to fight alongside insurgents there.

"It's difficult to estimate their number, but there mustn't be more than around 10 or so," one official said.

"There is no organised network, it's more thrown together."

According to Le Figaro newspaper, intelligence agents know of two other Frenchmen in Fallujah at the moment.

Hakim, who was of Tunisian origin, had lived in the Paris region and was accompanied by his brother Boubakeur, 21, the officials said. But Boubakeur was detained by the Syrian authorities and remains in custody there.

Hakim was buried in Iraq, one source said, adding that the exact date of his death was not known.

He and his brothers were known to frequent a radical Islamic group that was investigated earlier this year in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.

The French sources said the French militants heading to Iraq appeared to be entering through Syria.

Other Muslims looking to join the jihad, or holy war, against the US-led forces "make it to Iraq via Britain then Saudi Arabia on the pretext of making a pilgrimage, and then Syria before entering Iraq," one official said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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