MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - A student from one of Japan's most prestigious universities has been detained while trying to leave for Syria to fight alongside Islamic State (IS) militants, Japanese police said Tuesday.
According to Japanese authorities, the young man was aiming to fly to Turkey on Tuesday and then cross into Syria. The student's roommates were not aware of his intentions, despite the fact that the IS and the videos posted on the Internet by the militant group were repeatedly discussed among the student's friends.
The student decided to join the IS after he saw a flyer in one of the local second-hand bookshops offering jobs in Syria. According to Japanese law enforcement agencies, those who responded to the job offer were introduced to a certain professor, an expert on Islam. Currently, the Prosecutor's Office is conducting a search of the professor's apartment.
The Japanese government of has so far refrained from any comment, saying that the case was currently under investigation.
Late last month former Japanese Air Force chief, Toshio Tamogami quoting a senior Israeli government official, said that nine Japanese citizens had joined the jihadist group. The government later stated it had no information on the alleged participation of Japanese citizens in IS activities.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under control and forcing thousands of people, mostly religious minorities, to flee.
In September, US President Barack Obama announced his strategy aimed at defeating the IS and preventing the terrorism from spreading across the Middle East. A US-led coalition started conducting airstrikes against the IS in Syria the same month. Earlier in August, the US leader authorized airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq.
Many IS fighters are believed to be foreign nationals.