957 suspected ISIL militants caught in February in Turkey

957 suspected ISIL militants caught in February in Turkey

957 suspected ISIL militants caught in February in Turkey Some 957 suspected militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were apprehended in security operations carried out across Turkey in February. Some 122 militants were arrested, while security forces seized ammunition, weapons, documents and explosive materials, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. 

The police, gendarmerie and border units continued their operations against the jihadist group last month. In simultaneous operations carried out mostly in the early hours of the day, some 957 militants were caught. 

In an anti-ISIL operation carried out in 29 provinces on Feb. 5, 748 people were detained and a total of 820 suspects were detained during that week. 

In an operation conducted in the northwestern province of Bursa, 13 foreign-origin militants were arrested over their links to the Jan. 1 ISIL attack on a nightclub at the heart of Istanbul, which claimed a total of 39 lives and left 65 others wounded. 

Among the arrested was the wife of Abdulgadir Masharipov, the gunman who carried out the armed attack on the Reina nightclub, charged with “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “being a member of an armed terrorist organization.” 

Masharipov was arrested on Feb. 11 over several charges, including “attempting to remove the constitutional order,” “being a member of an armed terrorist organization” and “killing more than one person.”

In the northern province of Kastamonu, 11 people were arrested over their links to the jihadist group. In another operation carried out in some 84 addresses in Istanbul, the Black Sea province of Samsun, the southeastern province of Gaziantep and the western province of Manisa, six people were arrested. 

In Gaziantep, four suspects who were determined to be planning deadly attacks in Turkey were detained. A total of 24 suicide vests and many explosives were seized in the operation. Two suspects were later arrested. 

In the southern province of Adana, a Lebanese-origin Danish citizen and an Iraqi-origin Swedish citizen were arrested. It was later determined that Danish Mahamad Laban was providing cash flow to ISIL, and Swedish Mohammed Tefik Saleh was supplying the jihadist group with weapons and ammunition. 

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa filed a case into ISIL’s bombing in the province’s Suruç district on July 20, 2015 which claimed a total of 34 lives, with the prosecutor seeking 104 years of aggravated life sentences for three suspects each. 

An indictment regarding the ISIL attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on June 28, 2016 was accepted with the prosecutor seeking thousands of years of prison sentence for 46 suspects. 

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), meanwhile, are continuing to carry out the Euphrates Shield operation since its launch on Aug. 24, 2016. 

Turkish jets have continued to bomb ISIL targets in northern Syria, “neutralizing” many militants.  

Authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured.       

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels have gained control over 230 residential areas and 1,925 kilometers-square of land as of Feb. 24.