Canadian police have detained 10 young people at Montreal's main airport on suspicion of preparing to travel overseas to join the Islamic State militant group.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said late Tuesday that they made the arrests last weekend at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport and withdrew the passports of the detainees.

Authorities said the families and friends of the detainees are being interviewed, but no charges have been filed yet.

In a statement, the police asked the media to respect the privacy of the young people's families, noting that they are going through "very difficult times" as they try to cope with their children's actions.

Canadian authorities have been on alert for young people leaving the country to travel overseas and join the Islamic State group, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria. A half-dozen young Canadians are believed to have traveled to Turkey in January, en route to Syria to join the group.

Since then, officials have arrested several other youths on suspicion of trying to travel overseas to join jihadist groups.