Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) said on Wednesday it has captured a key suspect of a 2013 terror attack in Reyhanlı, Turkey, in the Syrian port city of Latakia.
According to the Anadolu news agency, MIT brought Yusuf Nazik to Turkey in a “pinpoint operation” and began interrogation on the attack that killed scores of people in southern Turkey.
Nazik, 34, confessed that on a tipoff from Syrian intelligence he scouted the crime scene prior to the attack and moved explosives from Syria to Turkey in two vehicles he had procured.
Nazik, who was born in Antakya in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, admitted he was acting on orders from Syrian intelligence and said, “I was not able to escape the Turkish state,” in video footage made available to Anadolu.
“I am telling my friends in Syria: Return while there still is time. The Turkish state will protect us. I am telling the state of Syria: the Turkish state will make you pay eventually,” he added.
During the interrogation Nazik reportedly provided detailed information about Mihraç Ural — a terrorist responsible for the Reyhanlı attack who is being sought on an Interpol Red Notice — and called on other fugitive terrorists to surrender.
Turkey blames Ural for a spate of attacks in May 2013 in Reyhanli that left 53 people dead.
A total of 912 buildings, 891 workplaces and 148 vehicles were heavily damaged in the attack.
On Feb. 23, 2018, a Turkish court sentenced nine of 33 suspects to aggravated life imprisonment and 13 others with jail time ranging from 10 to 15 years.