Austrian police arrest suspected Mideast fighter

September 2, 2014 - 7:05 AM

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police say they have detained a man suspected of having fought with Islamic extremists in Syria as he was planning to leave the country.

They say the 29-year-old Chechen was arrested in the village of Haidenreichstein near the Czech border on suspicion of participation in a terrorist organization. The man wasn't identified in keeping with Austrian confidentiality rules.

The arrest Saturday came less than two weeks after the detentions of nine other Chechens suspected of seeking to join Islamic extremists fighting in Syria. Participation in a terrorist organization can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told the Austria Press Agency on Tuesday the arrests send "a very clear message to all jihadists in Austria: You are not safe here."