‘Wannabe’ ISIS militant arrested in Turkey after geography slip-up

A view of the landlocked Turkish capital of Ankara - minus the 'seaside view' the jihadist hopeful told his parents of (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

A new recruit for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group was arrested by Turkish authorities after telling his family that he was in the “seaside” city of Ankara – unaware that Turkey’s capital is a fully landlocked city.

The family of the would-be fighter, who hails from the Russian republic of Dagestan, had suspicions of their son’s leanings towards the group, the Istanbul-based paper Hurriyet reported.

Under the guise of going on holiday to Turkey, the 26-year-old man – referred to by the Hurriyet by his initials H.A. – stayed at an ISIS cell for three days in Istanbul with other Russian jihadist hopefuls. The group then took a bus to the southern province of Hatay, which borders their final destination of Syria.

But back in Istanbul, H.A. messaged his brother back in Dagestan, telling him he was “having a holiday in Ankara and that his hotel is just two kilometers from the sea.”

His father quickly travelled to Turkey, alerting Turkish security officials of his son’s plans. Several days later, he was detained in the Hatay province, and later handed over to his parents to take him back to Turkey.

“We are grateful to the Turkish state,” H.A.’s father told Hurriyet, adding that his “emotional” son had been tricked by ISIS propaganda. His mother said that having him back was a “gift from Allah.”

H.A, meanwhile, claims that he really had intended to go on holiday, and “unknown men” forced him to join ISIS.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48