Al-Qaeda suspects in custody

Al-Qaeda suspects in custody


Police have detained 18 people suspected of having ties to the al-Qaeda extremist network in central Turkey, Doğan news agency reported yesterday.

The suspects were arrested in simultaneous raids at several addresses in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, Anatolia news agency reported.

Many documents were seized in police raids and searches at various locations were in progress as the Hürriyet Daily News went to print late yesterday. The operation was the result of more than one year of surveillance and the suspects were preparing for an attack, according to Doğan.

Turkish security forces have regularly targeted suspected al-Qaeda supporters since twin suicide bombings hit Istanbul five days apart in November 2003.

A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was blamed for the attacks, in which explosive-laden trucks first targeted two synagogues, and then the British consulate and a British bank, killing a total of 63 people, including British Consul-General Roger Short.