Turkish Authorities Detain 147 Suspects Linked to the Islamic State

IS

Turkish security forces have apprehended 147 individuals suspected of having ties to the Islamic State (IS) across various regions in Turkey, announced Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on Friday. The arrests were made following coordinated operations conducted simultaneously in 30 provinces.

Among those detained, two suspects are believed to have connections to the recent deadly attack in Moscow, according to a Turkish security source speaking to AFP. The suspects, identified as Samsiddin Faridouni and Saidakram Rajabalizonda, were able to freely travel between Russia and Turkey without any outstanding arrest warrants against them.

Faridouni, who entered Turkey on February 20, stayed in Istanbul's Fatih district before departing for Russia on March 2 from Istanbul airport. During his stay, he posted multiple messages on social media from the Aksaray district. Similarly, Rajabalizonda arrived in Istanbul on January 5 and resided in a Fatih hotel until January 21, departing for Moscow on the same flight as Faridouni on March 2.

Authorities suspect that the two individuals might have been radicalised in Russia, given their brief stays in Turkey. This suspicion arises in the wake of the attack on the Crocus Concert Hall on the outskirts of Moscow, which resulted in 139 fatalities and 182 injuries, with the IS group claiming responsibility.

Following the attack, four key suspects have been arrested and are currently in custody, facing potential life imprisonment. Among them, at least one suspect is reported to be from Tajikistan, while another, apprehended alongside his father and brother, was born in Tajikistan but holds Russian citizenship.

Turkish security forces continue to clamp down on individuals associated with IS, conducting extensive operations to dismantle the terrorist network and prevent further attacks. Interior Minister Yerlikaya emphasised that those arrested were found to be active members of IS, having participated in armed operations and provided financial support to the group.

(Source: Amna)

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