820 ISIL suspects detained in week-long nationwide raids

820 ISIL suspects detained in week-long nationwide raids

820 ISIL suspects detained in week-long nationwide raids

AA photo

Some 820 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects were detained in nationwide simultaneous operations that kicked off on Jan. 30, the Interior Ministry said on Feb. 6. 

Police on Feb. 5 detained 748 suspects in operations. 

The ministry said in yesterday’s statement that this added to 72 suspects, who were detained in week-long operations against ISIL.  

The police seized a number of organizational materials, digital materials, two unlicensed pistols, four rifles and 372 cartridges. 

The police said in a written statement that they have been carrying out operation plans against the suspects before conducting simultaneous raids in 29 provinces. 

Connections in Syria, Iraq

The suspects were identified as having connections in Syria and Iraq, where the organization is active the most, attempting to carry out terror acts in Turkey, speeding up their propaganda activities for recruiting purposes and placing Turkey as their most important target for terror acts.

In Istanbul operations, the suspects, which reportedly included key figures of the organization, were taken into custody during simultaneous operations in the Esenler, Şişli, Bağcılar, Bahçelievler, Maltepe, Beyoğlu and Ümraniye districts of Istanbul. 

Meanwhile, at least 14 foreigners, 10 of whom were minors, were sent to the provincial police headquarters for deportation proceedings.

 Turkey in 2016 was hit by a string of attacks blamed on ISIL and the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) that left hundreds dead.

Recently, 39 people were killed, mainly foreigners, in the earlier hours of the new year when a gunman went on a rampage inside a posh Istanbul nightclub.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the massacre, making it the first time it had claimed responsibility for an attack on Turkish soil since its first large-scale attack on June 5, 2015.

Police detained the suspected attacker, Abdulkadir Masharipov of Uzbekistan, on Jan. 16 after he spent over two weeks on the run. 

Masharipov had later claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities have said.

The ministry added that 165 operations were carried out against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the same period, resulting in the detention of 287 people suspected of aiding the terror group. Of these, 29 have been arrested.

The week also saw the detention of 701 suspects linked to the Gülenist network that is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and among them, 73 were arrested.