A new report compiling testimonies from French jihadists about their life with the Islamic State has revealed what salary ISIS pays its fighters, what a combatant’s daily life looks like and why some chose to return to Europe.
The document, named Recruitment, Itinerary and Activities of French Fighters was sent to every magistrate investigating terrorism in the country at the beginning of October.
In it, officers of the Direction des Affaires Criminelles et des Grâces (the department of criminal matters and pardons, DACG), have compiled testimonies of French fighters being investigated after their return from the Iraqi-Syrian region, according to Le Monde.
Jihadists described how routes into Syria have widely diversified since the conflict began. In order to “cover their tracks” some French jihad candidates now fly to Istanbul from neighboring countries such as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Others travel by road to Antakya (also known as the former town of Antioch), a city in south-east Turkey, just 12 miles from the Syrian border.
On arrival at the Turco-Syrian border, the future jihadists explained how they were taken care of by either other jihadists – some French – or most commonly by smugglers, who they pay between €100 (£74, $114) and €200 to take them either by foot or in a van into Syria.
According to the testimonies, the border crossings “do not seem to pose any difficulties other than climbing barbed wires.”
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