The capture of a senior DAESH member in Turkey has led authorities to new evidence pointing to plots by the terrorist organization to target predominantly Alevi villages in the country, in efforts to deepen sectarian strife.
A police investigation of the encrypted files on a computer belonging to Yunus Durmaz, a self-proclaimed DAESH "emir" for Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, revealed that attacks were planned for several locations across Turkey. Durmaz fled from authorities after last October's twin bombings in the capital Ankara, which killed 102 people. Reconnaissance notes in the encrypted files discovered by police reveal that terrorists were plotting to kill Alevis -- members of Turkey's religious minority who share the set of beliefs of the Alawites, a sect which the majority of Syrian regime members are affiliated with, as well as the Syrian regime's leader, Bashar al-Assad. After the Ankara bombings, local police arrested four people linked to DAESH who were members of a DAESH cell in Gaziantep which reportedly orchestrated the attacks.
A search of the suspects' homes by a Turkish forensics team led to the discovery of a plot to attack last year's G20 Summit in Turkey with a deeper inquiry revealing encrypted files which indicate there were additional targets. According to evidence the police's intelligence unit recovered from an encrypted word processor document, the DAESH plotted to incite sectarian conflict in Turkey in an ultimate aim to pit Alevis against Sunnis and fuel tensions between Kurds -- an ethnic minority concentrated in southeastern and eastern Turkey - and the State. Targets included villages largely populated by Alevis, branches of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in southeastern Turkey and the opposition Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP).
Police also discovered detailed maps of the Alevi villages among the suspects' belongings and evidence that the suspects had carried out reconnaissance on military bases and at police stations.