Turkey detains 11 ISIL members near Syrian border

Turkey detains 11 ISIL members near Syrian border

KİLİS – Doğan News Agency
Turkey detains 11 ISIL members near Syrian border

DHA photo

Eleven foreign nationals suspected of planning to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been captured by police in Turkey’s southern province of Kilis.

The Kilis Govenor’s Office said in a written statement that 11 foreign nationals were detained in the Çıldıroba village in the province’s Elbeyli district on Nov. 29 as they attempted to illegally cross into Syria to join ISIL. 

“On Nov. 29, 2015, 11 people of non-Turkish origin who were suspected of being Daesh members were captured by security forces in Çıldıroba in the Elbeyli district of our province. Legal and administrative investigations have been launched against the captured suspects,” the governor’s office said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIL.

Turkey has stepped up counterterrorism activities against ISIL after militants from the group were implicated in both the deadly Suruç bombing in July and the twin Ankara suicide blasts in October.

The perpetrator of the suicide bombing attack in Suruç, a district in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, was identified to be an ISIL militant, who detonated himself and left dozens of civilians dead and more than 100 injured on July 20. 

The suicide bomber of the Ankara attacks was also identified to be an ISIL militant, who killed more than 100 and left hundreds more wounded outside a train station in the Turkish capital on Oct. 10. The attack in Ankara was the deadliest act of terrorism in Turkey’s history.

More than 2,500 ISIL members have been captured across the country over the past three years, with 837 of them from non-Turkish origin, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Having added ISIL to the official list of terrorist organizations in 2013, Turkish security forces have since detained 2,627 suspected ISIL members in anti-terror operations.

Some 632 among the 2,627 detained individuals were subsequently arrested and 120 tons of bomb-making material was seized. More than 100 of the arrested suspects were foreign nationals.