Turkish police have detained 33 foreign nationals for alleged links to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday, citing security sources.
Counterterrorism police in İstanbul launched a raid to apprehend 11 people, thought to be members of groups planning attacks on behalf of ISIL, the report said, citing sources who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
As part of the investigation, police carried out simultaneous operations on 11 locations in four İstanbul districts.
Separately, counterterrorism police in Ankara launched raids to detain other foreign nationals with alleged ISIL links, Anadolu said. A total of 22 suspects were held as part of the simultaneous operations.
A report by the US Department of Defense had said Turkey is still a transit country for logistics, finance and weapons for ISIL despite the country’s efforts to step up the crackdown on the terrorist organization. The 136-page report, submitted to the US Congress, included the claim, based on remarks from the US European Command, that Turkey is still used as a base by ISIL, particularly for money transfers.