Turkey detains ISIS suspects behind attacks

Police arrested the man, identified as Ali al-Aggal and codenamed Azzov, believed to be the ISIS group’s organizer of Turkey attacks. (File Photo: AP)

Turkish police have detained more than 20 ISIS suspects, including a Syrian man believed to be organizing an attack in Istanbul, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.

Police arrested the man, identified as Ali al-Aggal and codenamed Azzov, believed to be the ISIS group’s organizer of Turkey attacks, in an operation in the Turkish capital Ankara, Haber-Turk newspaper reported.

In a separate raid, police held 24 other ISIS suspects from Iraq and Syria in the Kucukcekmece district of Istanbul, the newspaper said.

It said nine of the suspects were suspected of having direct contacts with al-Aggal and were awaiting explosives and ammunition from him in order to carry out an attack in Istanbul.

The remaining 15 suspects were planning to cross the Turkish border into conflict zones, the newspaper said.

Police found out that suspected ISIS militants used the building in Kucukcekmece as a "sleeper cell" and seized many documents and digital materials allegedly belonging to the extremist group, according to the report.

Turkey has suffered a series of attacks blamed on ISIS militants including a suicide bombing at a Kurdish wedding in a city close to the Syrian border in August.

The latest arrests come as several embassies, including Britain’s, closed Friday for security reasons.

A member of the anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States, Turkey has started to take an active role in the fight against the extremist group.

Turkey in recent months has also cracked down on the group’s sleeper cells and launched an ambitious operation inside Syria to oust extremists and Syrian Kurdish militia from its frontier.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that Turkey and the United States have discussed an operation to push ISIS militants out of their de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria but there have been no further details.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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