Japan arrests group of people trying to join IS
Japan's police have arrested a group of Japanese men suspected of planning to go to Syria in order to join ISIL militants operating inside the Arab country, PressTV reported.
The men are now being questioned by Tokyo police, and security forces have searched their homes to obtain any valuable document or evidence, Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, reported on Monday.
One of the suspects, a 26-year-old student from Hokkaido University in northern Japan, told investigators that in order to travel to Syria and join ISIL militants he had applied for a job opportunity in the country.
The arrested Japanese men have been accused of violating a penal code section, which bans individuals from plotting to fight against a foreign country. Violators face imprisonment for up to 5 years under Japan's legal system.
The incident is not peculiar to Japan. A recent US Intelligence report says 12,000 militants from 81 nationalities, including Americans and Europeans, have joined terrorist groups fighting against the Syrian government.
Meanwhile, the Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm, estimated in June that at least 3,000 militants of European origin have been active in several militancy-riddled regions across the Arab country.
US media reports say more than 100 US citizens have also traveled to Syria to fight President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The latest figures come as American and European opponents of the Syrian government voice concern as militants appear to be biting the hand that feeds them.
The ISIL militants currently control large swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq. They have carried out heinous atrocities in both countries, including mass executions and beheadings of people.