Three women, all Turkish nationals, were dispatched to Turkey by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to carry out suicide bombings, Turkish media has reported.
The HaberTürk daily reported that the Turkish National Police headquarters warned its branches in the 81 provinces against possible attacks by Fadime Kurt, Özlem Yılmaz and Nuray Demirel and distributed a photo of Yılmaz, the only woman visually identified by Turkish intelligence, to all police units in the country.
The daily said the police elevated security measures as intelligence reports pointed to a heightened possibility of attacks "in retaliation to Turkey's permission to allow Kurdish peshmerga forces to cross into Syria to fight ISIS."
Security forces were advised to step up security especially in crowded areas like squares and shopping malls as well as places popular among tourists along with public buildings and foreign missions.
Turkey is already under threat from ISIS, which controls large areas in Syria near the Turkish border. The militant group was behind the kidnapping of the entire staff of the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, Iraq, one of the first places in the country the militants captured last summer. Turkey's 915-kilometer border with Syria challenges Turkish authorities striving to impose tight security on the border where foreign ISIS recruits cross to join the terrorist group. Yesterday, 14 people were detained in Gaziantep, a border city, as they attempted to join ISIS in Syria.
Last year, the police's intelligence department had warned that ISIS militants may carry out car bomb attacks using vehicles with fake or duplicated authentic license plates on embassies and consulates. ISIS has not carries out any bombings in the country so far, but three men linked to the group were arrested after they attacked police and troops manning a checkpoint in central Turkey last year when they were stopped at the checkpoint. A checkpoint officer, a police officer and a truck driver were killed in that attack.
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