Police detain 29 ISIL suspects in Istanbul ‘planning sensational attacks’
Çetin Aydın – ISTANBULIstanbul police on July 7 detained 29 suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who were allegedly preparing to stage “sensational attacks.”
Intelligence and anti-terror units launched an operation to apprehend suspects who had previously taken part in clashes in the jihadist group’s ranks in Syria.
Some 29 suspects, 22 of whom were of foreign origin, were detained in raids on 20 different addresses in the Ataşehir, Bağcılar, Başakşehir, Çekmeköy, Esenyurt and Ümraniye districts.
The suspects are also reported to have attempted to transfer foreign-origin people to conflict zones across the border in the jihadist group’s ranks.
Police seized one unregistered gun and a number of organizational documents and digital equipment during searches at the residences and offices of the suspects.
Their proceedings are reportedly ongoing at the police headquarters.
Recently, on July 5, police detained six suspected ISIL militants for planning an attack targeting the justice march initiated by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu near Istanbul.
In a separate operation on the same day, another 37 ISIL suspects were detained across the country.
Turkey has already been hit by a series of deadly attacks carried out by ISIL or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has stepped up anti-terrorism operations across the country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on July 6 that the country had deported 5,000 people suspected of being linked to terrorist activities and banned 53,000 people from entering the country.