Police detain 81 ISIL militants in Turkey in latest wave
ISTANBULTurkish police have detained a total of 81 militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in operations conducted in Istanbul, the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa, the northwestern province of Kırklareli, and the eastern province of Erzurum.
Intelligence and counter-terrorism teams staged the operations after receiving new information on a group that recruits militants and provides logistical support for the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
Some 21 senior members of the group were determined with technical and physical tracking to have sent militants who arrived in Turkey across the border to fight alongside ISIL. The group was also found to have hidden the militants in several houses and gathered military equipment for logistical support.
The police started the operations against the suspects on Oct. 26, raiding a total of 31 addresses in five provinces. Beylikdüzü, Başakşehir, Kağıthane, Fatih, Gaziosmanpaşa, Pendik and Güngören were among the districts raided in Istanbul.
A total of 81 people were detained in the operations, of whom 21 were in senior positions and of whom 20 were under the age of 18. Some 60 of those detained were foreigners.
Passports belonging to several countries, identification cards, two pistols, 200 bullets, military camouflage, ISIL-related documents and digital material were confiscated in searches at the targeted houses.
It was also determined that a number of people acting on behalf of ISIL brought the wounded jihadists from Syria and Iraq to Turkey and provided them with treatment.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Minister Ashton Carter has stated that the U.S. has killed an ISIL militant who was planning an attack on Turkey. He did not say whether the jihadist was killed in Syria or Iraq.