A promising life in France given up for jihad

SCHILTIGHEIM, France (AFP) — He had a promising graphic designer job, plans to be a wedding videographer and was a star sportsman in his French town. So how did Youssoup Nassoulkhanov end up in an Islamic State group video praising the Paris attacks?

The streets of Schiltigheim in the Alsace region of eastern France are not a terrorist breeding ground.

Although the town has never quite recovered from the shuttering of factories in the 1980s, and a fifth of the population remains unemployed, it still has a quaint feel and is just 10 minutes from the charming, busy centre of Strasbourg.

Until he disappeared last summer, the polite, hard-working 20-year-old working in the graphics department of the town hall didn’t ring any warning bells.

“We talked, we joked around, he was a good kid. He had no hatred for France or the French or non-Muslims,” said Yann Lymand, who worked next to Nassoulkhanov for over a year.