Turkey arrests ISIS suspects over attack plots
Turkey has arrested nine suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group for allegedly plotting suicide attacks on a political party and an opposition newspaper, media reports said Wednesday.
Police detained two suspects after a car chase on Friday in the southeastern province of Gaziantep near the Syrian border and another seven accomplices were detained in later police raids, the Dogan news agency reported.
The suspects were acting on the orders of high-ranking ISIS members in Syria and had planned to create “an atmosphere of fear and chaos” ahead of last Sunday’s parliamentary election, the Gaziantep governor’s office said in a statement.
The nine, who were caught with grenades, explosives and suicide vests, were plotting suicide bomb attacks on the Istanbul headquarters of an unidentified party and the leading opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper.
Turkish police had boosted security at the paper’s offices in Istanbul and Ankara after a tip-off that it had been targeted by ISIS jihadists.
Security has been high in Turkey since a massive twin suicide bombing on a peace rally in Ankara on October 10 that killed 102 people in the worst such atrocity in the country’s history.
Turkish prosecutors said the attack was ordered by ISIS in Syria and that a sleeper cell in Gaziantep was planning further attacks on Turkish soil.