Turkish police on Thursday detained a Russian member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who was reportedly planning to down a US aircraft at İncirlik Airbase in Adana with a drone and also to attack an Alevi foundation.
According to Hürriyet, Renat Bakiev was detained by Adana anti-terror police units while checking out an Alevi foundation on the city’s 5 Ocak Square on a bicycle.
According to a statement by the Adana Police Department, Bakiev borrowed TL 2,800 (nearly $800) from other militants on the Telegram messaging application, widely used by ISIL sympathizers, to buy a drone.
Bakiev defended the need to kill Alevis as he considers them “enemies of Allah,” the statement said.
During a police interrogation, Bakiev admitted to also reconnoitering the airbase for a strike.
Bakiev’s plans came to light in testimony from suspected ISIL members detained in a counterterrorism raid in Adana in June, Hürriyet said. The alleged commander of an Adana-based ISIL cell, 32-year old Abdülkerim Çakar, and 10 others were captured in the raid.
The US Air Force has used İncirlik as a staging base for the air campaign against ISIL in Syria and Iraq since 2015.