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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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French ex-hostage identifies captor in Syria

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A French journalist held hostage for months by extremists in Syria says one of his captors was a Frenchman suspected of killing four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum earlier this year.

French magazine Le Point on Saturday quoted its reporter Nicolas Henin as saying he was tortured by Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman who had spent time with extremists in Syria.

Henin was held for a time with American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, both beheaded by extremists from the Islamic State group in recent weeks. He was released in April with other French journalists who had been held since June 2013.

Nemmouche is in custody since his arrest in France soon after the Brussels killing in May. The attack crystallized fears of European governments that Europeans who join radical fighters in Syria could return to stage attacks at home.

French authorities say there are some 900 people from France who have been implicated in jihad in the Syria region. Several dozen have been killed.

Henin could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday. Speaking to the Associated Press last month, he described how Foley had endured tougher treatment from captors because of his citizenship, but always behaved with courage and dignity.

He and the other French journalists released in April described being held in about 10 underground places of captivity, mostly with other people. But they did not elaborate on some details of captivity because of potential consequences for hostages still being held.

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