Turkish police issue ISIL attack warning for May 19

Turkish police issue ISIL attack warning for May 19

Turkish police issue ISIL attack warning for May 19

DHA photo

Turkish police issued a confidential warning to provincial security directorates across the country’s 81 provinces, cautioning against imminent attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during Youth and Sports Day celebrations on May 19, security sources have stated.

Police reportedly sent a “confidential” document to provincial security directorates requesting additional security measures against possible ISIL attacks that are said to be planned against security authorities on May 19.

The document underlined that ISIL perceives Turkish soldiers and police as “infidels” and informs its militants that it is “permissible” to engage or kill them. 

The department said stricter security measures should be adopted, especially to protect strategic public buildings as well as bases and checkpoints of the military or the police. 

The report followed a May 16 story in daily Habertürk that Turkish intelligence units revealed the possibility of an ISIL attack on Ankara during celebrations to mark Youth and Sports Day.

Accordingly, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) warned the authorities that 10 ISIL militants had crossed into the country through the southeastern province of Gaziantep and planned 10 separate attacks in metropolitan areas, especially in the capital Ankara.

It also added that that the jihadist group had planned attacks at the Anıtkabir mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, on May 19, in addition to a military compound in the Cebeci neighborhood and the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

However, the Turkish General Staff has refuted claims circulating on social media that Anıtkabir would be closed to public on Youth and Sports Day due to the ISIL threat.

The mausoleum will be open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., the General Staff said in a note issued on its website, detailing the events scheduled to take place at Anıtkabir during the celebrations.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was also alleged to be planning an attack on May 19. A total of 722 kilograms of explosives were seized in the southeastern province of Siirt, allegedly planned to be detonated during the May 19 celebrations.

Meanwhile, intelligence units have been trying to identify a suspect who was given suicide attack equipment by a militant codenamed Hüseyin al-Ali in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. A suicide vest and ammunition was found in a garbage container in the province on May 3. Accordingly, the security general directorate warned all 81 provinces to take intelligence reports into consideration and review security measures.

Turkey has been hit by a series of ISIL attacks over the past year, most recently in Istanbul on March 19. 
The terror attack that hit Istanbul’s central touristic İstiklal Avenue on March 19 killed five, including three Israelis and one Iranian. 

A separate attack by the jihadist group in the city’s historic Sultanahmet Square on Jan. 12 killed at least 12 foreign nationals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Obelisk of Theodosius.