The mother of a French teenager who traveled to Syria to join a militant group without her knowledge is now suing the French government for allowing him to fly out of the country.
Reuters reported that Nadine Dancona turned to a French court Tuesday seeking $120,000 in damages because she said police at the Nice airport did not stop her son, then 16, from leaving the country two years ago.
According the various media reports, the son is a convert from Catholicism to Islam.
Dancona maintains that her son should have raised suspicions because he was traveling with no personal effects, only his identifying documents and that his destination was Turkey.
Turkey was "notorious as the route to enter Syria," said family attorney Samia Maktouf, according to Agence France-Presse. "The police have committed a grave error ... concerning this unaccompanied minor, who had a one-way ticket to Turkey with no baggage."
The mother told the newspaper Le Parisien in December, “He told me he was going to sleep over at a friend’s house.”
“The next day, he hadn’t returned and he didn’t answer his cellphone, which was not like him. The other mothers in the neighborhood told me he had left with friends for Turkey in order to reach Syria,” the mother recalled, according to an Associated Press translation of the interview.
"It's not the money that we are interested in, but we want it known that an error was made. The departure of minors for jihad must stop," Maktouf said.
The lawyer said that if her client wins, she will donate the money to a group that works against terrorism.
“Her reward will be that other mothers are spared the suffering she has to endure,” Maktouf said.
AFP reported that the French interior ministry told the family in a written correspondence that there was no legal basis to stop his travel, since he was not under investigation at the time.
According to Reuters, an interior ministry representative told the court that the teenager’s name did not appear on any watchlists or in police files.
The French government estimates that 500 residents of France are currently fighting in Syria.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Sunday said that 113 people who have joined the Islamic State and other jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq are believed to have been killed, Reuters reported.