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Monday, February 6, 2017

Turkey detains 748 ISIS suspects


Ankara, Turkey -- In a major police operation against the Islamic State group over the weekend, 748 suspects have been detained by authorities.

Anti-terrorism police launched the operation targeting people with alleged links to IS early Sunday. They performed simultaneous raids in 29 provinces which included Istanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. The Anadolu Agency, their state-run media outlet said 440 people, which included foreign nationals, were detained.

On Monday, the Interior Ministry released a statement saying that a total of 748 people were detained in the police sweep, but, taking a "Trump-like approach, it provided no details nor gave a breakdown of the foreigners they caught in the operation. They don't want to give too much away to the enemy.

According to Anadolu, police seized IS documents, six firearms and digital material in the raids. And citing official police sources, said that the Islamic State was actively engaged in propaganda as a way to recruit. 

The raids targeted suspects believed to be in contact with IS operatives in "conflict" zones.

Since suffering dozens of deadly attacks linked to IS or Kurdish militants, such as the shooting at a New Year's mass in an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, Turkey has stepped up its anti-terrorism efforts.

The accused suspect in the nightclub attack is an Uzbek national who trained in Afghanistan. He was stopped in Istanbul about two weeks after the attack and officials believe his questioning will lead to valuable information about IS operations and sleeper cells inside Turkey.