UK citizen ‘foreign fighter’ arrested in Turkey’s İzmir

UK citizen ‘foreign fighter’ arrested in Turkey’s İzmir

UK citizen ‘foreign fighter’ arrested in Turkey’s İzmir

AP Photo

A U.K. citizen has been detained in İzmir on suspicion that he fought for jihadists in Syria, Turkish police have announced in the wake of demands from Ankara that Western countries do more to cut down on extremists traveling to Syria.

Turkish police began closely following Cabdiwahb Cige Moxamed, who had arrived in the southern province of Hatay before being welcomed by a Turkish citizen in İzmir and sheltered by another. During an ID check, Moxamed showed a fake Syrian card under the name of “Mustafa Halid.” 

The African-origin suspect is fluent in English and was using a fake ID, police sources said, adding that he was involved in clashes in Syria. During a body search, police found his original U.K. passport. 

Moxamed was arrested on Jan. 28 for forgery of official documents.
The European Union should tighten its border controls for people departing the Schengen Zone in order to stanch the flow of foreign fighters heading to Syria via Turkey, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu recently said. 

Separately, a man arrested in Bulgaria who knew the Charlie Hebdo attackers but denies being aware of their plans for the deadly assault, was extradited to France yesterday, a judicial source said.

Fritz-Joly Joachin was arrested on Jan. 1 as he tried to cross from Bulgaria into Turkey on suspicion he was heading for Syria, after his wife alerted French authorities about his departure with their 3-year-old son.

He was due to be questioned by an anti-terrorist magistrate in Paris, said the source, who refused to be named.

Joachin, of Haitian origin, has admitted to being “old friends” with the Kouachi brothers who shot dead 12 people in Paris on Jan. 7 in an attack on the Paris offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

French police, according to the Associated Press, detained and questioned an 8-year-old boy from the south of France, who claimed to support Kouachi brothers, drawing criticism that France’s measures to prevent people from defending terrorism had gone overboard.

Dozens of people have been arrested and accused of defending terrorism since the attacks, with some already drawing years-long prison terms in special expedited court proceedings. But the child from the southern city of Nice appears to be the youngest by far.

The boy declared “The French must be killed. I am with the terrorists. The Muslims did well, and the journalists got what they deserved,” Fabienne Lewandowski, deputy director for public security in the Alpes-Maritimes region, told BFM television. 

She said the child also refused to take part in the national minute of silence for the victims on Jan. 9.

The storming of the newspaper offices left 12 people dead and launched three days of terror in the Paris region that killed a total of 20 people, including the gunmen. The school director brought a complaint against the child on Jan. 21, and he was questioned that day with his father and a lawyer present.

“The reason we questioned him was to determine what could have influenced, what could have driven this child to say something like this,” Lewandowski said. “It’s a shame that it happened in a formal questioning, but given what he said it was necessary to go further than usual.” 

Sefen Guez Guez, a lawyer for the family, said the decision to question the child at a police station that day shows a “collective hysteria.”

“An 8-year-old does not belong in a police station. This is disproportionate and completely unreal,” he said.