Japanese aspiring jihadi detained in Turkey: official
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Erdogan said one of the Brussels attackers was caught in Turkey in June and deported to Belgium. Erdogan says Wednesday that the Belgian authorities released the suspect despite Turkish warnings that he was "a foreign fighter." Erdogan did not name the attacker. He said the man was detained at Turkey's border with Syria at Gaziantep and that Turkey formally notified Belgian authorities of his deportation on July 14.(AP Photo)

ANKARA, Turkey: A Turkish interior ministry official says police have detained a Japanese national as he tried to cross the border to Syria with the intention of joining Islamic State extremists.

The man was intercepted on his way to the IS-held Syrian town of Jarablus and is now in custody. The official told the AP he had a Japanese passport on him and told interrogators that he wanted to join IS.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government practice.

Japanese officials in Tokyo confirmed Thursday that a Japanese national is being held and said they are seeking further details.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the man is 24 and has the initials M.M. It said he contacted the group over social media.

Separately, five foreigners were arrested near the border as they tried to cross into Syria, according to a security source cited by Anadolu.

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