Türkiye captures nearly 3,000 Islamic State suspects in 10 months
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    REGION  25 April 2024 - 13:40

    Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya has announced that 2,991 suspects associated with the Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist group were detained between June 2023 and April 22, and 718 among them were remanded in custody.

    Yerlikaya's statement on his social media account also added details of the latest operation against Daesh that netted 23 suspects. The minister said suspects were captured in operations in seven provinces, according to Daily Sabah.

    Turkish police's intelligence and counterterrorism departments coordinated raids against Daesh in Canakkale, Hatay, Konya, Sakarya, Tekirdag, Yalova and Yozgat.

    "We will continue our fight until the last terrorist is neutralized," Yerlikaya said in his statement.

    Türkiye has ramped up operations against Daesh since the terrorist group attacked an Italian church in Istanbul in late January, killing one man during Sunday Mass.

    Daesh operates a so-called Khorasan Province (Daesh-K) network in Türkiye, which looks for "new methods" and recruits more foreign members for its activities after constant counterterrorism operations became a "challenge," security sources say.

    The National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) thwarted the terrorist group's efforts for recruitment, obtaining funds and logistics support after its latest operation in the aftermath of the church shooting.

    Daesh remains the second biggest threat of terrorism for Türkiye, which faces security risks from multiple terrorist groups and was one of the first countries to declare it as a terrorist group in 2013.

    In December last year, Turkish security forces detained 32 suspects over alleged links with Daesh, who were planning attacks on churches and synagogues, as well as the Iraqi Embassy.

    Daesh members have not previously targeted places of worship on Turkish soil, but they have carried out a string of attacks, including against a nightclub in Istanbul in 2017 that left 39 people dead and a 2015 bombing attack in Ankara that killed 109.

    Terrorists from Daesh and other groups, such as the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, rely on a network of members and supporters in Türkiye.

    In response, Ankara has been conducting pinpoint operations and freezing assets to eliminate the terrorist groups at their roots. Türkiye deported 9,000 foreign terrorist fighters, mainly from Daesh, from 102 different nationalities, of which 1,168 are from the US or European Union member countries, since 2011.

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