10 Canadians arrested: suspicion of joining Middle East militants

May 25, 2015

Canadian police arrested 10 young people from Montreal suspected of wanting to leave Canada to join militant Islamist groups in the Middle East, officials said on Wednesday.


The RCMP said the 10 were detained last weekend at Montreal’s international airport. No charges have been laid, and police declined to give details.

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

Police said the passports of all 10 people were confiscated. Four of the 10 were attending College de Maisonneuve, a Montreal college that came under scrutiny earlier this year when another four of its students disappeared from Quebec and are believed to have traveled to join Islamic State.

Quebec’s government says it will soon unveil a program to combat self-radicalization, a term used to describe those drawn to the militants.

Canada’s Conservative government has introduced tough new legislation that would give police and security agencies more power to stop people going abroad to link up with Islamic State and similar movements.

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