World

Frenchman faces terror charges for helping runaway 14-year-old who tried to join Islamic State

A Frenchman accused of helping a 14-year-old runaway try to join Islamic State by arranging her travel is on trial on terrorism charges.

Friday's trial of Riad Ben Cheikh sheds light on the shadowy networks that recruit European adolescent girls to join jihadi fighters in Syria.

The girl made Facebook contact with an Islamic State recruiter who persuaded her to join him in Syria, where he promised to marry her and teach her to fight. Ben Cheikh, who has a daughter the same age, told investigators he did not know the recruiter beforehand and was helping someone he believed was trying to rejoin his wife.

He booked a hotel and paid her fare to the airport, where she was detained in line to board a flight to Istanbul.