Tones of explosive material seized in city bordering Syria
AA PhotoTurkish police seized 120 tons of ammonium nitrate, a common explosive used in making improvised explosive devices, in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Nov. 27, while four suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were detained in Istanbul.
Police raided an iron and steel depot at the KÜSGET industrial site in Gaziantep, where they found 120 tons of ammonium nitrate, Anadolu Agency reported. The police sent the seized material to the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.
The raid came on the same day Istanbul police detained four suspects linked to ISIL in early-morning raids.
According to security sources, Istanbul police squads mounted simultaneous raids on a several addresses in the city’s Bağcılar district, accompanied by special operations teams.
The operation was conducted to catch five suspects who allegedly helped both Turkish and foreign nationals travel to Iraq and Syria, the police said.
There was an ongoing operation to catch a final suspect, the police added.
Officers also seized five mobile phones, a laptop and two tablet computers as well as 18 hard disks at the addresses.
Images from the scene showed at least one squad of masked and armed officers going through a ground-floor entrance.
Turkey’s General Staff said in a written statement that 509 people were captured while attempting to enter Turkey from Syria on Nov. 26.
Meanwhile, a local court in southeastern Diyarbakır province ruled for the arrests of five ISIL suspects on Nov. 27.
Since July, security forces in the country have been conducting anti-terrorist operations across Turkey after an ISIL suicide bombing killed dozens of people in Suruç, a border town in southeastern Şanlıurfa province, on July 20.
On Oct. 10, two ISIL suicide bombers attacked a peace rally in Ankara where 103 people, including the two bombers, were killed.
In September, tons of explosive material was seized near the Turkish-Syrian border.
As much as 6.5 tons of plastic explosive material was seized after police officers in Şanlıurfa stopped and searched a long-haul truck full of onions in the Pekmezli neighborhood of Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale district on Sept. 9.
In another incident in the southeastern province of Mardin on Sept. 10, 20 tons of ammonium nitrate was seized after gendarmerie forces searched a cottage on a road connecting Mardin to Diyarbakır upon intelligence which claimed material used to make bombs was in the cottage on land owned by a private driving course.