Turkish security forces raided at least 20 Istanbul addresses and arrested 18 foreign nationals suspected of having links to Daesh, a security source told Anadolu Agency (AA) Thursday, a day after police operations in southeastern Turkey's Adana province.
Counterterrorism teams carried out operations to arrest alleged members of the terrorist group who were plotting to launch terrorist attacks, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. One of the raided addresses was Istanbul's Sarıyer district, approximately 500 meters from the U.S. Consulate General. The security forces entered in a 4-storey building detained a person in the house.
A vast array of documents pertaining to the terrorist organization and digital materials were discovered and seized, the source added.
In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare Daesh a terrorist group.
The country has since been attacked by the terrorist group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks and four armed assaults.
In response, Turkey launched counterterrorism operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.
Turkey detained Daesh's so-called “Turkish emir,” Mahmut Özden, in August 2020. He was planning to carry out an attack on the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and target politicians, nongovernmental organization (NGO) heads and other prominent figures in Turkey, according to the official investigation.
Police deciphered Daesh's encrypted messages sent by the terrorist group's ringleaders in Syria and Iraq. The messages featured a wide range of instructions, including kidnapping tourist groups, prosecutors and deputies, and attacking the Incirlik Air Base in Adana, as well as other plans.
The convicted – Atala al-Hasan al-Mayouf, Fawzi Mohamed Ali, Halil Derviş and Ahmed al-Hasan – received multiple sentences totaling over 328 years in prison.
They were handed 192 years each for helping Nabil Fadli who blew himself up, 128 years for being accomplices in the attempted murder of 16 people and eight years and four months for keeping dangerous goods without permission.
Fadli blew himself up on Jan. 12, 2016, killing 12 people – mostly German tourists – and injuring 16 others in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district on the European side of Istanbul in a Daesh terror attack.
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