Canada nabs youths ‘seeking to join ISIL’
Canadian police say they have arrested 10 youths suspected of intending to travel to Iraq and Syria to join the Takfiri ISIL terrorists.
Charges have yet to be filed against the youths, who were detained at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport last weekend, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement released on Tuesday night.
RCMP officers confiscated the suspects’ passports and questioned them along with their families and friends, the statement said, adding that the investigation is continuing.
“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,” according to the statement.
A lawyer for one of the detainees told Radio-Canada that his client is a “victim,” who was approached online by an ISIL recruiter and was promised “a better life.”
The US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) said in February that more than 20,000 individuals from around the world, including many Westerners, have traveled to Syria to join the ISIL and other extremist groups.
Foreign militants from over 90 countries, including at least 3,400 people from Western states and more than 150 Americans, have gone to Syria to join the terrorist groups there, the NCTC added.
Security officials in Western states fear that those individuals who have joined the terrorist groups in the Middle East will use their combat skills against their homeland upon returning.
The ISIL terrorists currently control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have carried out heinous crimes in the two countries, including mass executions and beheading people.
Since 2011, when militancy began in Syria, Western countries and their regional allies, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, have been giving financial, logistical and military support to the militant groups fighting to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Gradually, however, the militants turned their guns against some of their sponsors, which prompted the latter to begin targeting purported militant positions in certain areas.