26 al-Qaeda suspects ‘fighting alongside ISIL’ face trial in Ankara
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARAA trial has opened against 26 suspected al-Qaeda members following a five-year investigation by Ankara’s public prosecutor’s office.
The indictment submitted to a local court alleged the suspects were al-Qaeda militants who were currently fighting among the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
It also provided details on al-Qaeda cells in the Altındağ district of the capital, where militants allegedly have frequent meetings. The cells were also used to recruit people to fight in Syria, according to the indictment.
The cells were not only used for recruitment but also involved in fundraising, it said, explaining that militants collected money from Quran courses, mosques and tradespeople in the neighborhood.
The suspects perceived the Turkish Republic as “satanic,” the indictment said, adding the militants therefore conducted their daily prayers with an imam of their own choosing rather than the imams appointed by the state.
It also warned that terror threats against Turkey were continuing.
“It is seen that the ISIL threat of planning attacks against Turkey is continuing increasingly,” the indictment said.