Second French citizen identified in ISIS execution video
A second Frenchman was identified on Wednesday (Nov 19) after appearing unmasked in a grisly execution video among Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) jihadists, many of whom are believed to be Western fighters.
Several European countries are probing the possible involvement of their nationals in the execution of 18 Syrian prisoners and kidnapped US aid worker Peter Kassig.
The video sparked global horror after its release on Sunday by ISIS.
One foreigner, 22-year-old Maxime Hauchard from Normandy in northern France, was quickly identified by French prosecutors.
He is one of several young French nationals from a middle class, atheist or Catholic background to have converted to radical Islam and gone to fight in Syria, making a profile of potential jihadists nearly impossible to pin down, experts say.
A source close to the French investigation on Wednesday identified a second national as 22-year-old Mickael Dos Santos from an eastern Paris suburb, who goes by the name of Abu Othman.
He is believed to have left for Syria in the autumn of last year, and became known to investigators shortly afterwards during a probe into a network channelling jihadists into the war-torn country.
“The man concerned is known for his terrorist involvement in Syria and his violent behaviour shown on social networks,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, without confirming his identity.
In July, Hauchard said in an interview with French television he had decided to join ISIS after watching videos online.
“The personal objective of everyone here is (to become a) shahid (martyr). That is the greatest reward,” he said.