Gaziantep ISIL attack suspects arrested

Gaziantep ISIL attack suspects arrested

GAZİANTEP – Doğan News Agency
Gaziantep ISIL attack suspects arrested

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A total of 32 suspects have been arrested while some 19 have been released with a judicial control decision and another has been released pending trial for their alleged role in the deadly car bomb attack which hit the southeastern province of Gaziantep on May 1.

The attack, which police determined was carried out by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide-bomber identified as İsmail Güneş, rocked the Gaziantep police headquarters, initially killing two police officers and wounding 35 others. 

Reports said on May 5 that another police officer who was wounded in the attack had succumbed to his injuries, bringing the death toll to three.

The arrests came as police conducted operations on the houses of the 52 people who were detained, during which they found a number of weapons and ammunition along with ISIL-related books and other materials and documents related to the group. 

Security sources said the time and location of the attack was chosen specifically to target police officers who were supposed to gather in front of the police headquarters to be dispatched to their duty areas for the May 1celebrations. However, based on intelligence received by police, these plans were cancelled and the officers were dispatched directly from their homes.

Police reports showed that five days before the attack Güneş’s name was mentioned in a letter which was sent to officials, warning about a possible attack in the city. Prepared based on intelligence, the letter had reportedly said “ISIL was conducting exploration work to stage an attack targeting the security, military and police units and critical public institutions in Gaziantep” and included the names of suspects, including Güneş.  
Sources also said that the explosive used in the attack was TNT, weighed at least 500 kilograms and was fortified by metal pieces and fertilizer.