A French mother is accusing her government of negligently allowing her teenage son join extremist fighters in Syria.

The woman says her 16-year-old was permitted to travel alone to Turkey with no passport, only his national identity card. By the time she learned about his plans to leave and warned police — in the middle of the night on Dec. 28, 2013 — his flight to Istanbul had already left, according to court documents.

The woman from the southern city of Nice is appearing in court Tuesday to accuse the government of failing to protect an underage citizen from traveling to a notorious war zone. The convert to Islam went to Syria with three other young men, at least one of whom is believed to have died there.