Police have detained three family members of a notorious French ISIS commander believed killed 11 months ago in Iraq in the latest sign of the government’s worry that supporters of the radical terrorist group may be at large in France.
The arrests came in raids on Monday and Tuesday that targeted family members of Rachid Kassim, a French ISIS commander who is thought to have been killed in a US drone strike outside the city of Mosul last February.
Seized in the raids, according to a French undercover police officer who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to talk to reporters, was Kassim’s 17-year-old brother and two cousins, 25 and 30. Kassim’s brother was detained in Roanne, in central France, where Kassim was born in 1987. The cousins were arrested in the suburbs of Dijon, in the country’s east.
The officer said French authorities targeted the three men because they had remained in close contact with Kassim, whose fame was fed, in part, by his appearance in a July 2016 video in which he beheaded an ISIS captive.