Islamic State (ISIS) militants are already on Europe’s doorstep, having entered Turkey, and are planning attacks on diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul. Turkish media reported on the development last week, having obtained information from a national intelligence agency (MIT) memo.
Turkish media reported some 3,000 ISIS fighters are looking to enter Turkey, with key commanders already hiding there in safe houses. Having failed to take the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, the militants have regrouped and are hoping to cross Turkey’s southern border.
“Militants expert in suicide and bomb attacks are preparing…attacks on the Istanbul and Ankara missions of coalition forces which intervened in Syria,” the memo said. In addition, militants with Syrian and Palestinian nationality are also planning to cross into Bulgaria to carry out attacks in European Union countries.
Turkish police declined to comment on the internal note, and MIT was not available for comment, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Turkey has experienced a series of recent bombings, including a car bomb last Friday near the border town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province which blew up near a police checkpoint. Although no group has claimed responsibility, the proximity of the town to Syria suggests it is related to the conflict there.
In response, the Sanliurfa governorate created a nearly 100 kilometer (62 mile) long closed military zone along the Syrian border, just north of two ISIS-controlled towns.
Critics have condemned Turkey in the past for not doing enough to stem the flow of jihadists across the border to fight in Syria. Some have even accused Turkey of assisting the militants, a charge the Turkish government flatly denies.