Two ISIL militants killed in Turkish capital plotted attack on AKP congress: Governor
ANKARATwo Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants who were killed in a police operation early on May 21 in Ankara had been preparing for potential attacks in the capital, including the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) extraordinary congress, the Ankara governor has stated.
In a police raid on an apartment of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) in the Yapracık neighborhood of the Etimesgut district, the two ISIL militants, believed to be aged between 25 and 30, responded by attempting to engage in a gunfight but were killed by police officers early on May 21. A search at the address also revealed weapons, hand grenades and high- power improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as digital materials, computers and some sketches.
Speaking at a press conference on May 22, Ankara Governor Ercan Topaca said the killed militants have not been identified yet but sketches were found on them targeting the AKP’s extraordinary congress at Ankara Sports Complex on May 21 and a non-governmental organization in the Dikmen neighborhood.
“We could not identify those people yet. It is likely that they are foreigners. We could not identified them as they do not have any fingerprints or records,” Topaca said.
“Some sketches regarding the area where the AKP extraordinary congress was held yesterday [May 21] have been revealed ... From those sketches we see that they planned to stage an attack that would have an impact and create chaos in the country,” he added.
“We put a big focus on the AKP congress that day. We think they probably estimated this fact and planned another attack, from the fact that there were two sketches. They had planned such attack around Dikmen but in the end they could not find the opportunity,” he added.
Commenting on a potential second attack, Topaca said the location may have included places that would “touch society’s nerve endings.”
“We do not want to cite a specific name in order not to create unrest among society. We are taking precautions. We will inform the forementioned non-governmental organizations,” he added.
Topaca also noted that the raid was conducted based on a testimony given by the Azerbaijani-origin ISIL militant Ebu Hüseyin Celilov in Istanbul.
Ankara police chief Mahmur Karaaslan said Celilov told the police that he was an ISIL member and directed the militants to an Ankara address.
Karaaslan also stated that the militants rented the apartment with fake identities.