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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightParis identifies...

Paris identifies Frenchmen in IS beheading video

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Paris identifies Frenchmen in IS beheading video
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Paris: France's intelligence services have identified a second French citizen who appears in the video in which 18 Syrian army prisoners and a US aid worker are beheaded on camera by terrorists of the Islamic State (IS), according to TV news reports.

France 2 TV channel reported Wednesday that the second man shown in the footage posted on the Internet Sunday has been identified as Michael Dos Santos, 22, from the town of Champigny-sur-Marne in the suburbs of Paris.

There is still no official confirmation from French authorities concerning the suspect's identity.

Paris had earlier managed to confirm the identity of the first Frenchman involved in the beheading as Maxime Hauchard, also 22 years old, from the northeastern French city of Rouen.

The son of Norman parents, Santos converted to Islam and became an extremist when he was 17 years old.

Between October 2012 and May 2013, he made two trips to Mauritania where he came into contact with Islamist groups but returned disappointed because he thought the groups were not sufficiently radical, according to prosecutor François Molins.

He travelled via Istanbul to Syria in August supposedly to provide humanitarian assistance in that country's civil war but with the hidden intention to join the IS jihadi group.

A third suspect arrested in Paris is believed to be involved in the case, but no details have been released.

French authorities are investigating a total of 1,132 French citizens suspected of aiding or participating in terrorist organisations.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told BFM TV Wednesday that France will step up efforts to combat the IS, but did not specify if it will send additional Mirage 2000 jets to join the fight against IS in the region.

Earlier Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that his country's authorities have identified two French citizens in the video.

"All we can say for now is that there were two French people," Hollande said at a press conference in Canberra accompanied by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Hollande said that his country was doing everything it could to prevent its citizens from joining the IS ranks.

"We must be vigilant, and we must be strong," he remarked at the conclusion of a bilateral meeting with Abbott.

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