Police on alert over ISIL Friday prayers attack tipoff in Turkey’s Gaziantep
DHA photoPolice in the southeastern province of Gaziantep have taken extensive measures upon intelligence of a possible bomb attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targeting Friday prayers, Doğan News Agency reported on Sept. 23.
Security measures were taken in all mosques across Gaziantep as police closed roads and put barricades around the central Ulu Camii. Worshippers were only able to enter the mosque after a body search.
The intelligence of a potential ISIL plot comes one day after the U.S. Embassy in Ankara warned its citizens about a potential terror attack targeting Western businesses in the province.
Gaziantep, one of the Turkish cities hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, was recently hit by an ISIL attack targeting a street wedding, claiming 56 lives, mostly children. The Gaziantep Governor’s Office subsequently banned celebratory events - such as weddings, circumcision ceremonies, and farewell parties to soldiers - from being held outdoors the attack.
On Sept. 17, police in the province detained an ISIL militant who possessed pictures of a cemevi, a house of worship used by Alevis, and who was allegedly preparing a terror attack in the province.