Bekijk volle/desktop versie : Turkse politie arresteerde 50 islamisten (al-Qaeda leden)

15-10-2009, 20:02

Up to 50 Qaeda-linked suspects detained in Turkey raids
Turkish police detain 50 Qaeda suspects: report
The Turkish police detained 50 al-Qaeda suspects in morning raids (File)
The Turkish police detained 50 al-Qaeda suspects in morning raids (File)

ANKARA (Agencies)

Turkish police on Thursday rounded up some 50 people with suspected links to the al-Qaeda network who were allegedly planning attacks against NATO, U.S. and Israeli targets in the country, reports said.

The suspects were taken into custody in early morning raids in nine provinces, among them Istanbul and the eastern cities of Van and Erzurum, the CNN-Turk and NTV news channel said.

Although police officials confirmed the raids, they have refused to give figure on the total number of people detained.

Six of the suspects caught in Istanbul were jailed immediately as they had been convicted in absentia two years ago of involvement in four massive suicide bombings in Istanbul in 2003 that were blamed on al-Qaeda, the report said.

Most of the remaining suspects were believed to be members of the Islamic Jihad Union, which has links to al-Qaeda, the report said, adding that some had received military training in camps in Afghanistan.

Following police interrogations, the suspects are to appear before courts, which will decide whether there is enough evidence to bring formal charges against them.

The raids follow comments by al-Qaeda's second-in-command last month scolding Turkey for its forthcoming assumption of the leadership of NATO forces operating in Kabul.

"The Turkish forces in Afghanistan will lead the same (kind of) operations that are conducted by the Jews in Palestine. How could the free zealous Turkish people accept this crime against Islam and the Muslims," Ayman al-Zawahiri said in an audiotape aired last month.

A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was held responsible for truck bombs against two synagogues, the British consulate and a British bank in Istanbul in 2003, which killed 63 people, including the British consul, and left hundreds injured.

Seven men were jailed for life in 2007 over the bombings, among them a Syrian national who masterminded and financed the attacks.