Belgian plainclothes police apprehend a youth in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, Belgium, April 2, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman
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The attacks in Paris and Brussels of November and March have thrown a spotlight on poor mainly immigrant neighborhoods as targets for militant recruiters.France's communities minister, Patrick Kanner, claimed that some 100 French neighborhoods have "similar potential" as Molenbeek, the Brussels district that spawned many of the militants behind recent attacks in Europe.Another student, 18-year-old Nassim, says he has "fortunately" never crossed paths with militant recruiters.But in March 2015, a childhood friend of his, after dropping out of school, left for Syria with another youth from Noisy-le-Sec, east of Paris. One of the three was 20-year-old Bilal Hadfi, who would go on to become one of the suicide bombers in the November 13 attacks in Paris.According to the latest official figures, more than 2,000 French citizens or residents have been involved in militant cells and more than 600 have been to Syria or Iraq, including 85 minors.
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