Canadian teen arrested before departure to Syria to join ISIS

OTTAWA (AFP) - A Canadian teen aiming to join the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been arrested, Canadian authorities said.

The 17-year-old's attempt to embed with the extremist group is "proof that the threat of terrorism is real," a spokesman for Public Security Minister Steven Blaney told AFP on Friday.

The teen was arrested on Thursday in the town of Beaumont, just south of Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada, by a special division of the Royal Mounted Canadian Police.

"We congratulate our police and national security agencies for their work on this case" said spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue.

The teenager, whose name was not released, was charged on two terror-related counts, according to local media.

He will remain in custody until his next juvenile court appearance on April 9.

At least six Canadians have died over the last two years fighting alongside extremists in Syria and Iraq.

The federal government has proposed toughening the nation's counterterrorism laws in order to combat such incidents.

The government has pushed the measure following a lone gunman's killing of a ceremonial guard and storming of parliament, and the hit-and-run murder of another soldier in rural Quebec the same week in October.

The intercepted teen was one more example of why Parliament must adopt "this 2015 anti-terrorism law, to better protect Canadians against jihadist terrorists," the spokesman said.