Turkish Officials Struggling to Stop ISIS Infiltrating Europe

January 13, 2016

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Turkey has barred the entry of more than 35,000 immigrants from more than 120 countries, for fear of their connections to ISIS, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala announced Monday. “This is the result of hard intelligence work,” Ala said in a press release, adding that 2,896 foreigners from more than 90 countries have been expelled as part of the fight against ISIS.

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has identified 13 ISIS members who are planning to carry out terrorist attacks in European countries, the daily HaberTürk reported Monday. All the suspects, nine of whom are women, are reportedly still in Syria, and looking to enter Europe through Turkey. MİT has informed European countries and shared the details of the ISIS suspects, who are between the age of 16 and 30.

On Sunday, Turkish security forces detained 17 suspects linked to raids in Istanbul and eastern Turkey. And in the eastern city of Elazığ police picked up seven suspected ISIS members. Meanwhile, on Sunday, 16 Egyptians and one Russian national were captured in the southern city of Adana, along with seven Turks, and are accused of recruiting fighters for ISIS.

The suspects, including women and children, were captured in pre-dawn raids. Police sources said one of the Turkish suspects was already wanted on charges of being a member in a terrorist organization.

Turkey shares borders with Syria and Iraq, and so it is the primary target for ISIS fighters as well as asylum seekers fleeing their war-torn countries. On occasion it is hard to tell the difference between the two groups.

Last July, a suicide bomber linked to ISIS killed 32 people at a rally in Suruç, near the Syrian border, while twin suicide bombings killed 102 people at another rally in the capital city of Ankara.

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