Iraq crisis
Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province(Reuters)

Almost a sixth of the French population (16%) have a favourable disposition towards the terror group Isis (now known as the Islamic State), according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by ICM Research, asked people across the western European countries of Germany, UK and France whether their view of IS was favourable or unfavourable.

The participants were asked: "From what you know, please, tell me if you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant otherwise known as Isis?"

A breakdown of the age groups participating in the poll revealed that the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to have a favourable view of IS.

Twenty percent of French people between the ages of 35 and 44 had a favourable opinion of IS while 22% of 25-34 year-olds asked were also favourable to the group.

The highest opinion of the group came in the youngest age group, the 18-24 year-olds. 

France, a country with a population of 66 million, has a Muslim community of 4.7 million (as of 2010) and a large number of this community have emigrated from North Africa.

However, the poll was commissioned on behalf of Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, likely to take a swipe at the western countries in question.

The Islamic State and its march through Syria and Iraq have continued to attract worldwide media attention following the shocking video of US journalist James Foley's murder.

The group's aims are to bring every corner of the world under their radical Islamic ideology and they have already declared a "Caliphate" straddling the Syrian-Iraqi border.

France has witnessed a growing threat of terrorism in recent years as hundreds of young French Muslims are believed to have flocked abroad to fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, with the potential to return home as radicalised members of society.

For the ICM poll's data collection, the company interviewed 1,006 French nationals by telephone between 11-21 July 2014. The poll had a margin of error of 1.5-3%.

A representative for ICM was unavailable to answer IBTimes UK's questions about methods of participant and location selection.