Counterterrorism police detained a Daesh militant in the southern province of Adana, one year after he mingled with Syrian refugees to enter Turkey.
Syrian national Ahmed Issa, whose nom de guerre was "Abu Ayoub," was about to be discharged from a hospital in the province after his treatment when the police detained him. Security sources said that 24-year-old militant was injured in a bomb attack in 2015 and believed to have undergone a string of surgeries and treatments since then. He was a member of a Daesh faction led by Denis Cuspert, a German rapper turned Daesh militant who was reportedly killed in Syria earlier this year. In Issa's cellphone, police found photos with four other men wielding Kalashnikov rifles - believed to be Daesh militants - in front of three severed heads on iron bars. A court remanded Issa into custody.
Daesh killed scores of people when the group started targeting Turkey in 2013, with attacks on rallies, Istanbul's main airport, a popular nightclub in the city and other venues.
Embattled by counterterrorism operations in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group has seen its numbers dwindle even further with heightened crackdowns in Turkey. In the past nine months, security forces detained more than 5,400 suspects and arrested more than 900 others in counterterrorism operations. Another 146 Daesh militants were "neutralized" during the same period.
Since November 2017, Turkey has stopped more than 5,040 foreigners looking to join Daesh by crossing into Syria and Iraq through Turkey and sent them back to their countries of origin. Security forces have also foiled 10 attack plots. Figures show that some 18,500 suspects are currently being monitored for links to the terrorist group after being identified at airports upon arrival.