Four ISIL militants arrested in Turkey’s southeast
ŞANLIURFA – Doğan News AgencyFour militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who had allegedly prepared to stage an attack during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, were arrested in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on July 12.
Counter-terrorism police in Şanlıurfa had been tracking four Syrian-origin ISIL suspects who settled in the province a while ago.
Security forces determined that the suspects had been ordered to conduct an attack on the last day of Eid al-Fitr on July 7.
Accordingly, police conducted an operation to detain the suspects on July 6.
One suicide vest, one Kalashnikov rifle, two guns with silencers, six magnetic TNT explosives, TNT explosive enforced with 12 metal balls and a detonator, and 120 bullets were also seized in the operation on the address where the suspects were staying.
The militants reportedly planned to first open fire on people and then stage the bomb attack at an unidentified site in Turkey.
During their testimony to police, the militants reportedly said they were instructed to rent a car to conduct the attack but could not afford to rent one.
The four were arrested after being referred to court.
Turkey has been on high alert after being rocked by a series of suicide and car bomb attacks that have claimed many lives and wounded hundreds.
A warning notice was sent to provincial security directorates after ISIL’s attack on Istanbul Atatürk Airport on June 28, which left 45 people dead and scores wounded, reportedly informing police about the jihadist group’s new targets in the country, especially in metropolitan areas.
The warning, sent on June 30, stressed that ISIL militants in Ankara and Istanbul were planning attacks on military and police buildings with bomb-laden cars.
ISIL also aims to assassinate Kurdish public officials, journalists and military and intelligence officials working in Ankara, Istanbul and the western province of İzmir, according to the warning.