ANKARA – Turkish police have arrested 400 suspected ISIS terrorists in a series of anti-terror raids across the country, the state media has reported.
Sunday’s raids saw Turkish police arrest the suspects – including foreign nationals – who are believed to have been planning attacks.
The operation around the country saw 150 suspects detained in Sanliurfa in the southeast, 60 in the capital Ankara as well as dozens more arrests in provinces ranging from Bursa in the west to Bingol in the east, the Dogan and Anadolu news agencies reported.
At least 60 suspected jihadis were arrested in Ankara, just over a month after a terror attack on Istanbul which claimed the lives of 39 people.
Most of the 60 people detained in the capital are foreigners, although there is no information yet as to their nationality.
Dozens more arrests were made in provinces ranging from Bursa in the west to Bingol in the east.
In the usually peaceful Aegean city of Izmir, nine people suspected of travelling to and from Syria and planning attacks in the city were detained, Anadolu said.
One of the suspects detained in Izmir – a Syrian identified only as E.A. – is said to have been in touch with human smugglers in a bid to help the ISIS members escape to Europe, Anadolu said.
Eighteen people were detained in Istanbul and the neighbouring province of Kocaeli on suspicion of planning attacks. Another 14 foreigners were due to be deported, including 10 children.
The New Year’s Eve night club attack saw a gunman go on the rampage with a machine gun in the club. Most of the victims were foreign nationals.
Police detained the suspected New Year’s Eve attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, on January 16 after over over two weeks on the run and authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.