US & Canada

Canadian youths 'trying to join Islamic State' arrested

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on 18 May 2015 by Aamaq News Agency allegedly shows an IS flag in Ramadi Image copyright AFP
Image caption Young westerners are being lured to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State fighters

Ten youths have been arrested by Canadian police on suspicion of planning to travel to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State.

All 10 had their passports confiscated after they were detained at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport at the weekend.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that none of the suspects had been charged, but investigations were ongoing.

Their families have been informed.

"These are very difficult times for the relatives and loved ones of the persons arrested, as the decision to leave the country was not that of the family, but of a single family member," the statement said.

"As a result, family members often find themselves at a complete loss and unable to understand the decision made by the youth."

Police said they could not disclose the identity of the suspects or provide information about what led to their arrests.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Iraq earlier this month

Steven Blaney, Canada's public safety minister, commended the officers for their "continued vigilance" in protecting communities from "the ongoing global terror threat".

Canadian troops are part of a multinational coalition to halt the advance of IS militants in Iraq and Syria.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in March that he planned to expand the mission and has since pledged $139m (£89m) to help alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis in the region.

More on this story