France sends 3 wannabe jihadists to prison

A Paris court has sentenced three French youths to prison for having attempted to make their way to Yemen and Somalia in 2012 to fight alongside Islamist extremists. It was the first trial of its kind since France last week was hit by a string of deadly terrorist attacks.

Le Parisien said the three men, who were not named, were ordered to serve between four to 10 years in prison.

The ruling comes as France has vowed to crack down on racism, hate speech and those glorifying terrorism – including on Twitter – following the bloody attacks that left 17 people dead.

In a message sent out to the country’s prosecutors and judges on Wednesday, France’s Justice Ministry specified the legal basis for arresting people defending or condoning the Paris terror attacks, or supporting racism or anti-Semitism.

But the arrests had already started, and by Wednesday afternoon, the ministry said 54 people had been detained, including a 15-year-old girl who referred to the Kouachis as “my brothers”.