Police detain 120 ISIL suspects in Turkey ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations
Police detained a total of 120 people, including Syrian and Iraqi citizens, over suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in various operations conducted in 12 provinces across Turkey on Dec. 28, state-run Anadolu Agency said.
Counter-terrorism police carried out simultaneous raids on homes and work places of the suspects in Istanbul, the western provinces of Sakarya, Manisa and Bursa, the southern province of Adana, the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Diyarbakır and the eastern provinces of Elazığ, Van, and Bingöl the agency said.
The security forces seized weapons, money and numerous organizational documents.
In Istanbul, the police raided the addresses of six foreign nationals in the districts of Başakşehir, Ümraniye,and Güngören. In the southeastern province of Gaziantep, 17 suspects were detained, with police seizing $111,800, 55,195 Turkish Liras (around $15,000), a gun, two chargers, 220 full cartridges, 2 shot guns and 27 cartridges.
In Bursa alone, 38 people were detained. Police used battering rams to smash open doors with and searched the suspects’ properties, the agency said.
In another operation centered around Van, 22 were detained on Dec. 28 in three provinces.
Among the 22 people, 13 were detained in Van, eight in Diyarbakır and one in Mardin, the Van security directorate said on Dec. 28.
“During physical searches of the detainees, their homes and work places, numerous digital materials and organizational documents have been seized. Procedures for the detained suspects continue,” it said further.
ISIL militants have carried out gun and bomb attacks in Turkey. Many foreign fighters have passed through Turkey in recent years on their way to join the jihadist group in territory it controlled in Syria and Iraq.
A year ago, the group claimed responsibility for a New Year's Day mass shooting by a lone gunman who killed 39 people in a packed Istanbul nightclub. The trial for those allegedly behind the attack began this month.