Police detain 50 ISIL-linked suspects in Istanbul

Police detain 50 ISIL-linked suspects in Istanbul

Police detain 50 ISIL-linked suspects in Istanbul

AA Photo

Fifty individuals have been detained for alleged links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Istanbul, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported, in the wake of the Oct. 10 Ankara bombing that killed at least 102 civilians.

The detained suspects, all of whom were foreign nationals, were detained in a pre-dawn operation against ISIL militants on Oct. 18 after Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit officers raided 17 homes in Pendik, a district on Istanbul’s Anatolian side.

Speaking after the deadly twin blasts that killed at least 102 civilians and wounded hundreds of others ahead of a peace rally in the Turkish capital on Oct. 10, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said ISIL was the focal point in the investigation launched into the deadly bombings.

Ömer Deniz Dündar, allegedly one of the two suicide bombers in the Ankara blast, and his twin brother, Mahmut Gazi Dündar, had previously been probed by Turkish prosecutors for alleged links to al-Qaeda, but the investigation was dropped, news website Radikal reported on Oct. 16.

The police raids came as the Istanbul Police Department gathered intelligence that newly arrived ISIL-linked suspects were about to head to conflict zones in Iraq and Syria. 

The detained suspects were taken to the police department in Istanbul’s Fatih district after undergoing health check-ups.

In a separate anti-terror police operation against the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) militants in Istanbul, the police department’s counterterrorism unit officers raided 16 homes in the districts of Ataşehir, Sarıyer, Gaziosmanpaşa and Sultangazi early Oct. 18, although there was no immediate word of detentions.

A 24-year-old woman identified by the initials D.D. was wounded being shot by a person sharing the same apartment with D.D. as the latter reportedly grabbed a police gun while police officers searched D.D.’s home, Anadolu Agency reported. On the other hand, the victims’ brother, Emrah Doğan, speaking to journalists in front of the hospital where D.D. was taken in for treatment, accused the police officers for the shooting, stating that police had directly aimed at his sister. 

D.D., who was taken to a public hospital in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood with gunshot wounds to the lungs, is reported to be in serious condition.

Turkey has stepped up anti-terror police operations against ISIL militants in the country, as the Oct. 10 twin blasts in the Turkish capital sent shockwaves through the country, with at least 102 civilians dead and hundreds of others injured.

Thirteen ISIL-linked suspects have reportedly been detained so far within the investigation launched into the Ankara bombing.