A general view of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington February 28, 2013. Positions hardened on Wednesday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders over the budget crisis even as they arranged to hold last-ditch talks to prevent harsh automatic spending cuts beginning this week. Looking resigned to the $85 billion in "sequestration" cuts starting on Friday, government agencies began reducing costs and spelling out to employees how furloughs will work. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

Olympia, Washington - A California man who prosecutors say was on his way to Syria to join an Islamist militant group was arrested on Monday near the US-Canada border in Washington state on a charge of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, federal officials said.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that 20-year-old Nicholas Teausant had planned to cross into Canada and travel on to Syria to join an al Qaeda-linked militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.