Turkish security forces detained a Japanese national while trying to cross the border into Syria to join DAESH terror organisation, Japanese chief cabinet secretary confirmed on Thursday.
Without giving his full identity, security forces said a 24-year-old Japanese man, whose name was given only as M.M., was detained on Tuesday near the Syrian border district of Nizip in the southern city of Gaziantep.
After his detention, the man -detained during a routine border check- admitted he intended to travel to Syria with the help of an unnamed contact across the border. Police confirmed his statement by checking messages on his cellphone.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo had not known much about the man’s plan until Turkish authorities informed them.
"It is true that if we have any specific information regarding Japanese travel to Syria, we have been dissuading them individually," said Suga.
"But, with regards to this Japanese man, we did not have any information beforehand."
Turkey is on high alert against possible DAESH terror attacks on its soil after a recent suicide bombing raised fears when a DAESH terrorist blew himself up in Istanbul's Beyoglu district, killing five and injuring 39 others.
On Tuesday, Turkish police arrested a DAESH-linked suicide bomber, who was carrying an explosive belt, trying to cross into Gaziantep from Syria. Nine others were arrested along with the suicide bomber.
Just a day after the group was arrested, security forces captured three others with DAESH links. Police said they were plotting terror attacks at German diplomatic missions and schools in Turkey’s Istanbul.
Turkish Interior Ministry said 847 suspected DAESH terrorists are in custody -most of whom are foreigners- and 27,000 people from more than 100 countries around the world have been stopped by Turkey from crossing into Syria.