Belgian Daesh suspect arrested in central Turkey


A suspect wanted by Belgium on terror charges was arrested yesterday in the central Turkish province of Kayseri after he was captured on Jan. 7.

The suspect, identified as A.A., a Belgian citizen of Algerian origin, was captured along with his Syrian wife, identified as M.A., in operations against the Daesh terrorist group. The court they were referred to ordered their arrests after they were interrogated by prosecutors.

It was not clear whether the suspect was known to authorities before he left Belgium and if he committed any crimes in his own country. Belgium admitted that two years ago it failed to respond to Turkey's warning about a Belgian man, Ibrahim al-Bakraoui, captured near Turkey's Syrian border.

Bakraoui was deported to Belgium, where he carried out an attack on the Brussels airport in 2016. The Belgian interior and justice ministers had tendered their resignations after the failure, although the prime minister did not accept them. Bakraoui was first put on a flight to Amsterdam and from there, he flew to Belgium. Turkish officials said that both the Netherlands and Belgium were warned about the suspect's terrorist background.

Turkey is at the forefront of efforts to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Daesh, which has captured towns in Syria and Iraq, two countries Turkey neighbor, over the past few years.

Ankara has complained that Europe has been ignoring its warnings regarding deported Daesh militants. Ankara has deported more than 5,000 Daesh suspects and 3,290 foreign terrorists from 95 countries in recent years and has dismantled several terrorist cells that provided logistical assistance in Syria and Iraq for plotting attacks inside the country.

Since 2015, Turkey has also been the target of Daesh attacks that killed dozens in Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

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