Dominique Bons shows a photo of her son Nicolas, a young convert to Islam who has died fighting in Syria, during an interview with Reuters in Toulouse, southwestern France, March 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)
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Europe's authorities are struggling to stem the flow.Bons is angry that her efforts to alert the government to a potential problem were ignored and is also convinced that the strategy of France and other European countries of jailing those caught trying to get to Syria makes the situation worse.Belgium said in January that some 200 Belgians who had fought in Syria were being monitored in case they returned to the country.Most Europeans fighting in Syria join the Nusra Front or ISIS, the two militant opposition groups that are closest to Al-Qaeda and considered most dangerous by the West. Between 600 and 700 French nationals or residents are believed to have volunteered for fighting or were involved in recruitment for Syria.As in France, many European governments take a tough line, sending suspects to jail or making it more difficult to come home. After the video was published Bons instantly became the face of jihadism in France.After Nicolas left for Syria in early 2013, Bons wrote to Hollande asking for help to bring him home.For Bons the worst part is that it is proving difficult to bring the body back for burial in France. She says the French authorities have been unsympathetic and the situation is complex because France has broken off diplomatic relations with Syria.
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