Istanbul police foil major ISIL bomb attack
Istanbul police have foiled a major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bomb attack and brought down two jihadist cells in the city.
According to police, a car loaded with explosives and a bomb-laden motorcycle were found in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Istanbul’s Bayrampaşa district on Oct. 28.
Anti-terror police launched an operation after two consecutive explosions took place in two buildings in Istanbul’s Esenyurt and Arnavutköy districts, followed by fire, late on Oct. 27.
“Objects used in bomb making, including chemical materials, metal marbles, nails, a screw, a remote control, electronic circuits, cables, batteries and many other similar materials, were found in two houses in the Arnavutköy and Esenyurt districts by anti-terror and bomb disposal units, who carried out examinations after fire caused by explosions were put out. No one was found in the apartments,” police said in a written statement, adding that anti-terror police and intelligence officers launched coordinated efforts to apprehend those involved in the incident.
Authorities then determined that a car and a motorcycle belonging to the suspects linked to the aforementioned two addresses were in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
Around 4 p.m., four suspected ISIL militants, of whom one is a woman, were detained and one of the suspects was shot in the leg by police after trying to escape and was taken to a hospital. According to police, two ISIL cells were also busted.
Police took security measures around the area and notified bomb disposal units in order for examinations to be carried out on the car and the motorcycle.
“Home-made explosives that have remote control set ups, suicide vests, two firearms and many bullets were confiscated from the motorcycle and the car,” police said.
Also on Oct. 28, operations against ISIL were carried out across the country, with police detaining 49 people in the capital Ankara.
Detentions were conducted as part of an investigation carried out by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against the jihadist group.
A total of 55 foreign-origin suspects were targeted as part of the probe and all of the 49 detained were of foreign origin.
Police evaluated that some of the suspects were planning to stage terror attacks targeting Oct. 29 Republic Day celebrations and some had previously fought in ISIL ranks abroad.
Two operations were carried out in the western province of İzmir over the course of 24 hours and 10 suspected militants were detained.
The initial operation was conducted early on Oct. 28 and five Syrians were detained. The second operation took place on Oct. 29, in which five others were apprehended.
Those detained in İzmir were reportedly linked to the suspects caught in Istanbul and militants providing explosives to the jihadists.
A number of documents and digital materials linked to ISIL were confiscated from the suspects’ houses.
In the northwestern province of Bursa, a total of 39 people, including Syrians and Afghans and including eight who are under the age of 18, were detained in anti-ISIL operations.
Some 15 addresses in seven districts were raided with support from riot police and special forces units, while many documents linked to ISIL were seized.
Another operation was carried out in the eastern province of Erzurum on Oct. 29, in which 22 suspects were detained as part of an investigation carried out by the Erzurum Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Police raided several addresses simultaneously in four districts and confiscated two unlicensed weapons, two unlicensed rifles, bullets, knives and digital materials.