Turkey detains 12 Daesh suspects wanted by Interpol

Published 02.01.2019 00:00
Updated 03.01.2019 10:26
Istanbul anti-terror units during an operation against Daesh members AA Photo
Istanbul anti-terror units during an operation against Daesh members (AA Photo)

Turkish authorities detained 12 suspects over links to the Daesh terrorist group including two French women sought by Interpol, Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

The suspects, including French, Syrian and Algerian citizens, were taken into custody after anti-terror raids in the northwestern province of Bursa, the agency added in the report.

Among those caught were three women including the two French women who had red and blue Interpol notices issued against them, Anadolu Agency and the private DHA news agency reported.

Some of the suspects had been in Syria with the terrorist group before moving to Bursa, the agency said, without giving further detail.

Another suspect was believed to have been a guard for a senior Daesh terrorist.

Five of the suspects have been sent to deportation centers.

Bursa is Turkey's fourth most populous province with more two million residents.

There have been a series of raids against Daesh suspects in Turkey in the past two weeks, especially ahead of New Year celebrations.

Earlier on Wednesday, a man and a woman were detained in the central province of Kayseri, accused of having Daesh links and believed to be preparing an attack on New Year celebrations after arriving in Turkey from France three months earlier.

And six foreign nationals were also taken into custody in the eastern province of Elazığ over suspected ties to Daesh terrorist group.

Four of the foreigners -- whose identities or countries of origin were not given -- were deported, the agency said, quoting unnamed security sources.

Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to rid Turkey of Daesh terrorists.

Daesh, which is blamed for a string of terror attacks in Turkey over the past three years, saw a decline in membership with militants fleeing Syria and Iraq where it once controlled large swathes of land. Turkey helped Syrian moderate opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) in a 2016 operation in war-torn Syria to regain control of Daesh-controlled towns.

During the Operation Euphrates Shield Turkish military had cleared northern Syrian towns of Jarablus, Azaz, al-Bab, Dabiq and al-Rai from the terrorist group. Following the Euphrates Shield operation, which ended in March 2017, Turkey has also put forward efforts to bring life back to normal and enable Syrians in Turkey to return back to their homes.

Foreigners looking to join Daesh in Syria have mostly attempted to use Turkey as their crossing point. Turkey has taken significant measures against foreign Daesh members and urged Western countries for intelligence cooperation. According to official figures, some 2,000 people were arrested, and 7,000 others were deported in operations against Daesh in Turkey, while around 70,000 people were denied entry to Turkey over their suspected links to the terrorist group. Security forces have also foiled at least 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.

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