13 suspects detained in raids against al-Qaeda sent to court

13 suspects detained in raids against al-Qaeda sent to court

13 suspects detained in raids against al-Qaeda sent to court

Police originally detained 25 suspects in raids conducted around Turkey. AA Photo

Thirteen of the 25 suspects detained in simultaneous raids against al-Qaeda in six provinces on Jan. 14 have been sent to court after the taking of their testimonies.

Police have decided to continue questioning 12 suspects who are still being held at the Van Police Department, Doğan News Agency reported.

Al-Qaeda’s senior member in Turkey, Halis B., and its second-in-command in the Middle East, İbrahim Ş., are among the detained individuals.

The detained suspects face accusations including sending people to fight in Syria, helping to transfer al-Qaeda members from Afghanistan and Pakistan, collecting money to help al-Qaeda, providing and distributing aid and weapons to be used in attacks in Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and organizing illegal activities.

Police raided a local Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) branch in Kilis as part of the simultaneous operations conducted in six provinces including Istanbul, Van, Kilis, Adana, Gaziantep and Kayseri.

House of ruling AKP mayoral candidate searched

Meanwhile, the house of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Van mayoral candidate, Osman Nuri Gülaçar, was also searched as part of the operations.

“The police know that we could have complied with an invitation from prosecutors, so carrying out an operation at 5 a.m. in the morning is meaningful. Despite this, no element of a crime was found in the search,” he told reporters. He condemned the latest raids, saying they represented an attempt to equate charity organizations with illegal terror groups.

As the AKP’s former provincial head in Van, Gülaçar was also briefly taken into custody in 2009, along with 15 other suspects, during a separate operation against al-Qaeda.