Turkish police detained 36 suspected Daesh members in counterterrorism operations in Istanbul and Adana provinces. Some of the suspects were alleged to have been planning to kidnap lawmakers and bureaucrats and attack the Incirlik Air Base,
According to the police statement, the operations were carried out to arrest suspects with alleged links to the Daesh terrorist group's operatives in Syria.
Police carried out simultaneous raids on 17 addresses in 11 districts of Istanbul, where they found 17 suspected terrorists.
In Adana, police detained 19 other suspects who were reportedly planning to kidnap lawmakers, bureaucrats and judicial officials.
Documents confiscated during the raids also revealed that the terrorists were planning to carry out an attack on the U.S. Incirlik Air Base in the city.
The police discovered 500 grams (1 pound) of explosive material, unlicensed weapons, organizational documents and digital materials belonging to Daesh terrorists.
The suspects had been carrying out activities on behalf of Daesh, including torturing individuals they deemed to be insulting religious values.
In September, Turkish police detained the terrorist group’s top figure in the country, Mahmut Özden, who is considered Daesh's “Turkey emir” in Adana.
Although the terrorist group has been largely defeated in Iraq and Syria, its presence still poses a threat, as individuals following its ideology encourage others to carry out violence. European analysts have also warned against attacks by Daesh, as isolated plans by individuals not under the watch of intelligence services have become more common.
Turkey recognized Daesh as a terrorist group in 2013, and since then, the country has been attacked numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings and four armed assaults, which have killed 315 people and injured hundreds more.
In response, Turkey launched military and police operations both inside and outside the country, capturing top Daesh members in counterterrorism efforts at home and in Syria.
Turkish intelligence played a key role in the death of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by detaining and extraditing one of his aids to Iraq, who provided U.S. authorities with critical information for locating him.
According to Interior Ministry figures, at least 2,000 people were arrested and 7,000 others deported in operations against Daesh in Turkey in the past few years, while around 70,000 people have been denied entry into the country over their suspected links to the terrorist group.
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