Young French Muslims Recruit for Iraq

Boubakeur el Hakim, 24, is on trial this month in Paris accused with four other young Frenchmen of funneling French Muslim fighters to Iraq. The case is a delicate one, as France is largely strongly opposed to the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq, but also struggles against homegrown terrorism. In a French radio interview on RTL radio broadcast from Baghdad in 2003, el Hakim urged Parisian friends to join him on the battlefield. The key concern for the French police has been what these fighters do when they return to France. The fighters claimed to have first traveled to Syria to take Arabic lessons and receive basic weapon training prior to arrival in Iraq.