Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Six Quebecers Left Country in January and May Have Joined Jihad Groups: Report

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Six Quebecers Left Country in January and May Have Joined Jihad Groups: Report

Article excerpt

Six Quebecers may have joined jihadist groups: report


MONTREAL - Reports claiming six young Quebecers left the country in mid-January and may have joined jihadist groups in the Middle East prompted a call from public safety officials urging families to contact authorities if they suspect relatives have been radicalized.

Montreal police and other authorities are offering little information about the reports -- which first appeared in Montreal La Presse Thursday -- that four men and two women from the Montreal area fled Canada to fight with jihadists in Syria.

Federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney would not discuss the case specifically, adding only that the reports highlight the need for the Conservatives' controversial anti-terror legislation to be passed.

Blaney says the bill would provide police more tools to stop radicalization and help tackle the issue of high-risk travellers.

A well-placed source confirmed that six young men and women between 18 and 20 years old from the Montreal area all left around mid-January and landed in Turkey, which is a well-known gateway to the battlefield of Syria and Iraq where jihadist groups are involved in a civil war.

Montreal Police would only confirm the force is investigating several cases of missing adults.

The source added that four of the missing people lived in Montreal and that the parents or relatives of all four individuals contacted police independently to alert them about the disappearances.

The source said it is still unclear if the six missing knew each other and all left together.

Two of the missing lived in Laval, just north of Montreal. Laval police confirmed they received a report for one of the missing people, but the case has been handed off to the RCMP.

Brigitte Desjardins, spokeswoman for College Maisonneuve, a junior college in the city's east end, said three of the six went to the school.

She said she cannot know for sure if the students are in Syria, but confirmed after learning their names that they were enrolled for the fall semester. …

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