Man suspected of ordering deadly ISIL attack in Berlin caught in Turkey’s west
İZMİRA suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant, who allegedly ordered a deadly attack in Berlin, has been apprehended in the western province of İzmir.
The Jordanian-origin German man, identified only by the initials W.D., arrived in Turkey via illegal ways to cross into Greece after the attack, in which a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin on Dec. 19, 2016, killing 12 people and wounding 49 others.
According to the police, W.D. is suspected of giving the order of the attack to Tunisian-origin ISIL militant Anis Amir, who was killed in Milano.
The authorities determined five names on Amir’s phone, including those suspected of planning the attack and providing fake passports. After investigations, the police established that four out of the five names were in Turkey.
Turkish authorities were later notified about the issue and police forces launched a wide-scale operation, in secrecy, to apprehend the suspects.
After investigations, İzmir anti-terror police determined that W.D. arrived in the province to illegally cross into Greece, later apprehending him in a hostel he was staying at on Dec. 24, 2016.
He rejected all charges against him in his testimony and was arrested.
In addition, police continued their efforts upon suspicion that the other suspects on Amir’s phone might also be in İzmir. The authorities evaluated that the three other suspects could also be in plans to cross into Greece.
A Syrian-origin ISIL suspect, identified only by the initials M.A.K., was also believed to be in İzmir and was later caught in a raid on the hotel he was staying at on March 11.
M.A.K. said he arrived in İzmir to cross into Greece and was reportedly planning to stage attacks in Europe. His interrogation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, two other suspects were apprehended in Istanbul after police established their contacts with Amir. The two were later arrested.
ISIL on Dec. 20, 2016 claimed responsibility for the truck rampage.
“A soldier of the Islamic State carried out the Berlin operation in response to appeals to target citizens of coalition countries,” the ISIL-linked Amaq news agency had said, without revealing the perpetrator.