An official says Cyprus has intensified screening procedures at its ports, airports and checkpoints to prevent Europeans from passing through the country en route to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

The security official said that since Turkey has tightened security measures to stem the flow of potential jihadis to Syria, it is possible that Europeans could travel to the island of Cyprus, cross into the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, then head into Syria that way. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because he didn't want to publicly discuss sensitive security issues.

The official said the new security measures include tougher police scrutiny at seven crossing points along the 180 kilometer (110 mile), U.N.-controlled buffer zone that regulate people and vehicles traveling across Cyprus' north-south divide.