Canada to hold conference over jihadist youth fears

An image taken from a propaganda video released by the Islamic State's al-Furqan Media allegedly shows IS fighters raising their weapons (AFP Photo/)

Montreal (AFP) - Canada is to hold a national conference to discuss ways of preventing young people from pursuing jihadism following the arrest of 10 youths attempting to join the Islamic State group, officials said.

A spokesman for Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney said no date had been set for the meeting, which would bring together officials from all Canadian provinces to discuss prevention strategies.

On Tuesday Canadian police said they had arrested 10 young people as they allegedly tried to leave the country to join the Islamic State group.

The federal police arrested the group, all residents of the Montreal area, last weekend at the city's international airport and their passports have been withdrawn.

The Islamic State group is known for its brutality in the swathes of territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. The group's radical ideology has inspired thousands of people to join it or try to send support.

Canada in particular has been concerned over the number of youths from the country who have tried to join the group.

University of Ottawa student John Maguire was reportedly killed in December in Syria, while six teenagers from the Montreal area left the country and apparently joined IS several months ago.

Another teen was arrested in March for aiming to join the IS jihadists.

Lawmakers recently endorsed a new anti-terror law that boosts powers of Canada's spy agency amid concerns of attacks within the country.


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