Nearly 1,500 ISIL suspects detained in Istanbul in 2017
A total of 1,447 people, including foreigners, were detained in Istanbul for their suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2017, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 2.
The Istanbul Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism Unit teams conducted 58 operations against ISIL in 2017, the agency said.
Police detained 1,141 foreigners during operations, while the intelligence service prevented many armed and bomb attacks.
A Turkish court ruled that 44 suspects must remain detained in the case of the New Year’s Eve attack at Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy district in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017.
On Aug. 13, 2017, the Istanbul anti-terror branch detained 12 foreigners, who were plotting a terror attack.
The anti-terror branch office also prevented many terror attacks by rounding up several suspected ISIL members in various operations.
During an operation on March 16, 2017, anti-terror police raided a cell house in Istanbul’s Kağithane district and detained two unidentified Uzbek nationals, who were preparing to carry out an attack similar to the one at Reina.
On Oct. 28, 2017, four ISIL suspects, including two females, were detained as they attempted to bomb a parking area in a shopping mall in Istanbul’s Bayrampaşa district.
The detentions came a day before millions of Turks across the country celebrated the 94th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
The police seized 66 bombs, four suicide vests and two guns and many bullets.
A detention warrant was issued against ISIL member Talip Akkurt, who traveled to Syria from the Turkish border province of Gaziantep in 2016. On Jan. 27, 2017, six people associated with Akkurt were detained.
A total of 69 people, including 29 children, were detained during operations in 10 locations in Istanbul’s district of Başakşehir on the European side and in the district of Pendik on the Asian side.
Four other suspected ISIL members were apprehended in Istanbul on April 14, 2017, before the constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017 in Turkey.
Police detained a total of 49 people, including 41 foreigners, on April 15, who were plotting to carry out a terror attack before the referendum.
On Sept. 10, 2017, Turkish police detained 25 ISIL suspects, including three top ranking members and 22 foreign nationals, as part of ongoing nationwide counter-terrorism operations.
The teams had launched operations to capture the three top ranking members of ISIL responsible for planning and directing attacks.
On Dec. 8, 2017, a total of five suspects, including four foreign nationals, were detained over alleged links to the terrorist organization during counter-terror operations in the districts of Basakşehir and Sultangazi in Istanbul.
Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to thwart ISIL attacks. More than 300 people have lost their lives in ISIL-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bombings and rocket-and-gun attacks.