Police raids against ISIL cells help foil several attacks in Turkey
MALATYA – Anadolu Agency
Some 135 suspects were detained and 12 individuals were arrested after operations launched against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in September raids, amid the country’s internal efforts to dismantle the jihadist group.
While one group member identified to have been preparing for a suicide bomb attack was apprehended with 300 steel shots and five kilograms of explosives on him in the southern province of Mersin, three high ranking ISIL members preparing for sensational attacks were arrested in Istanbul.
In a number of simultaneous nationwide operations, the police, gendarmerie and border patrol authorities seized documents, weapons and ammunition belonging to ISIL in September.
Of the 135 suspects who law enforcement officials detained on charges of terror links, 12 members heard in courtrooms were arrested.
A suicide bomb attack against a Mersin police station was underway had the officials not busted a 19-year-old Syrian, named Abdulqadir Alsebaee, with 300 steel shots and five kilograms of explosives on him, according to the report. The teenager, who is identified to have been injured in Syria and living in Turkey for three years, was detected to have been a “sleeping cell member” by the authorities.
Another critical finding was obtained in an operation in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, where a coordinated ISIL attack killed 42 people on June 28, 2016, when a flash drive revealing important information and maps belonging to the group was found hidden inside the shoe of a detained suspect who was later arrested by court.
‘Lone wolf’ attacks
One suspect promoting “lone wolf” type attacks to ISIL members on social media and three high-ranking ISIL members brewing sensational attacks were arrested in several separate operations held in Istanbul.
An instruction sheet showing how the bomb used in the Boston Marathon attack, in which 13 people were killed on April 15, 2013, along with execution footage meant for the group’s propaganda efforts were also seized in one of the Istanbul raids.
Nearly 100 people detained in Istanbul operations in September were told to be foreign citizens linked to ISIL.
The southeastern provinces of Mardin and Gaziantep, the western provinces of İzmir and Bursa and the southern province of Adana were among locations where ISIL suspects were apprehended in the cooperated raids.
The judicial processes for the Gaziantep attack of Aug. 20, 2016, where 57 people had been killed, and the Ankara peace rally attack on Oct. 10, 2015, in which 109 people died, have been ongoing.
Meanwhile, Istanbul law enforcement officials have apprehended 50 foreigners understood to be on standby for taking commands from Iraq and Syria in an operation held against ISIL at 14 different addresses on Sept. 30.
In simultaneous raids in 10 different provinces and 14 different addresses, police have caught and detained 50 foreign citizens understood to be linked to ISIL.
The detained suspects were then taken to a police station.