State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

17 PHOTOS
Cape Cod military base - Afghan soldiers missing then caught
See Gallery
State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody
Vehicles are stopped by security personnel as they enter a gate Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, to Camp Edwards, Mass., on Cape Cod. Police and military officials were searching Monday for three soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army who went missing Saturday during a training exercise at the base. The Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, at Camp Edwards, U.S. military officials said. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The soldiers, one pictured here from his visa, were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar. (Image courtesy: Fox News)
The soldiers, one pictured here from his visa, were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar. (Image courtesy: Fox News)
The soldiers, one pictured here from his visa, were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar. (Image courtesy: Fox News)
Afghanistan's National Army soldiers stand guard during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand at attention during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. ANA has 195,000 troops, according to NATO. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand at attention during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. ANA has 195,000 troops, according to NATO. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand at attention during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. ANA has 195,000 troops, according to NATO. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Female soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) stand guard during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. ANA has 195,000 troops, according to NATO. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghanistan National Army (ANA) soldiers march during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. ANA has 195,000 troops, according to NATO. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
A U.S. military force, right, helps an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier walk past the site of a suicide attack near a U.S. military camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked a foreign motorcade just a couple hundred yards (meters) from the U.S. Embassy, unleashing a blast that injured at least a dozen people and rattled nearby neighborhoods, police officials said. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghanistan National Army soldiers stand guard at a gate of Camp Qargha, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire Tuesday on foreign troops at a military base, causing casualties, an Afghan military spokesman said. In a statement NATO said it was investigating an "incident" involving both Afghan and international troops at Camp Qargha which trains officers for the country's army. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghanistan's National Army (ANA) soldiers remove debris at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked an air force bus in Kabul, early Wednesday, killing at least four people, security officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers prepare to remove a destroyed military bus at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 2, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked the air force bus in Afghanistan's capital early Wednesday, killing at least four people, security officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers prepare to remove a destroyed military bus at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 2, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked the air force bus in Afghanistan's capital early Wednesday, killing at least four people, security officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghanistan's National Army (ANA) soldier asks journalists to stop filming, at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked an air force bus in Kabul early Wednesday, killing at least four people, security officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By BOB SALSBERG

BOSTON (AP) - Three Afghanistan National Army officers who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base were detained Monday at the U.S.-Canadian border, Massachusetts law enforcement officials said.

Massachusetts state police were notified that the three were being questioned by federal authorities at Rainbow Bridge, which connects Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, said spokesman David Procopio, who did not have further details.

There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Niagara Falls said they didn't have the men in custody. Messages left for Canada Border Services Agency weren't immediately returned.

Military officials said the Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen Saturday at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis during an off day.

The soldiers were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who had been briefed over the weekend on the situation, said earlier Monday that the military did not believe the three soldiers posed a danger to the public.

"They were vetted by the military. They were cleared by the military," Patrick told reporters while he visited a preschool program in Quincy.

"There is a lot of speculation within the military that they may be trying to defect," he said.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier that 14 Afghans taking part in the Cape Cod military exercise were "thoroughly vetted" prior to coming to the U.S., so officials do not believe they are a threat.

The Regional Cooperation training exercises have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation and interoperability among forces, build functional capacity, practice peacekeeping operations and enhance readiness.

This year's exercise, which involves more than 200 participants from six nations including the U.S., is scheduled to wrap up Wednesday. Military officials from Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are also participants.

Procopio said state police considered it to be a missing persons case, because there was no information that any crimes had been committed.

On Thursday, two members of an elite Afghan police unit were picked up in the Buffalo, New York-area after going missing from a five-week training program they had been attending with 29 other police officers in Quantico, Virginia

Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said the police officers were being returned to Afghanistan on Monday. The rest of the class left as scheduled on Friday.

The two were reported missing after failing to show up for a boat excursion on the Potomac River last week. Payne would not say how they were tracked to Buffalo and did not provide details about where and when they were picked up.

"They were held and returned. They were not a security threat, not a danger. They were not armed. They were just looking for a better life," Payne said.

Escorts were provided during excursions from the base, he added, but the officers were not being monitored at all times during their U.S. stay.

Missing Afghan Officers Found Crossing Into Canada

More from AOL.com:
Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide
Veteran receives honor ... 70 years late
2 dead, dozens injured after bus overturns in Del.

Read Full Story

People are Reading