Canada arrests 10 suspected of heading to join militants in Mideast

Reuters News
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Posted: May 20, 2015 10:18 AM

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian police arrested 10 young people from Montreal who they suspect wanted to leave the country to join militant groups in the Middle East, officials said on Wednesday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the 10 were detained last weekend in a series of arrests at Montreal's international airport. No charges have been laid and police declined to give any details about the people.

"We have reason to believe that the young Montrealers wanted to travel abroad to join jihadist groups," said RCMP spokesman Constable Erique Gasse.

Montreal is the largest city in the French-speaking province of Quebec and Canada, like other western nations, is trying to stem the flow of disaffected, mostly young Muslims, who want to join groups such as Islamic State.

Six Canadian teens aged 18 to 19 disappeared from Quebec in January and February and are believed to have traveled to join Islamic State militants

Canada last year sent 70 special forces troops to help train Iraqi soldiers fight Islamic State. Six Canadian jets are taking part in U.S.-led bombing attacks against the group in both Iraq and Syria.

Last month, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said the number of Canadians leaving to join militant groups in Iraq and Syria had increased 50 percent in the past few months.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Grant McCool)