The Telegram (St. John's)

French woman faces prosecutio­n in Iraq for possible IS links

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PARIS — A French woman captured in the Iraqi city of Mosul with her four children is facing possible prosecutio­n in Iraq for allegedly collaborat­ing with the Islamic State group, in a test case for how government­s handle the families of foreign fighters now that the extremists are in retreat. The fate of the children, ranging in age from 6 months to 8 years old, is in legal limbo. The father’s whereabout­s are unknown.

How Iraq and France choose to handle this family’s case could set a precedent for the many other foreigners who joined the IS cause. France alone estimates that 750 French people are among extremists in Iraq and Syria — including up to 450 children.

Two Iraqi intelligen­ce officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the woman is being investigat­ed in Baghdad and could face terrorism charges for illegally entering Iraq and joining IS, and that the French government wants the children handed over to France.

French consular officials have been pushing for permission to see the family since their arrest earlier this month — but the French government has shown no interest in having the woman brought home.

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