111 Daesh suspects arrested in Ankara police raid

Ankara, Turkey. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 November 2017
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111 Daesh suspects arrested in Ankara police raid

ANKARA: A total of 111 Daesh suspects were detained during a massive anti-terror operation on Thursday in Ankara involving 1,500 Turkish police.
Digital and other organizational material belonging to the terror group were confiscated in the operation, carried out after detention warrants for 245 suspects were issued by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office.
As part of a long-standing campaign against Daesh cells in Turkey, one of the primary aims of the operation is to counter an offshoot group within Daesh, “Tatlibal Group,” named after its Turkish leader Bayram Tatlibal.
Some 27 Daesh suspects were also detained in the northwestern province of Bursa through simultaneous operations at various addresses.
The operation followed a similar one this week in the central province of Kayseri in which four Daesh terror suspects were arrested. One of the suspects, an Iraqi man, recently shared footage of him killing his own brother — who opposed Daesh on his social media account — on the instructions of the terror group. The man confessed to infiltrating Turkey’s southern province of Hatay through Syria 20 days ago.
Emel Parlar Dal, associate professor in the International Relations Department at Marmara University in Istanbul, said that the main focus of the operation was sleeping cells and the recruitment network of Daesh in Turkey, including Tatlibal Group.
“With the foreign fighters returning from Syria and Iraq following the gradual loss of their territories, there is a risk that these cells may be reactivated,” Parlar Dal told Arab News.
The downfall of Daesh in the Syrian city of Raqqa did not signal the end of the group, she said.
“This operation clearly shows that the Daesh threat is still concrete and serious for Turkey.”
She said: “In this new period, Daesh is likely to use Turkey for a recruitment center for its foreign fighters as well as a logistics hub, which requires an exhaustive analysis about its possible strategies for using its networks in countries like Turkey to reactivate itself.”
According to Parlar Dal, this new period requires a joint action plan between Turkey and Western countries to eradicate new security threats.
This is not the first time that Turkish police have targeted the Tatlibal Group, which has been under surveillance since 2014, in its anti-terror operations.
In January 2016, Ankara counter-terrorism police detained 10 suspects belonging to the group. But its cadre recently made a decision to move to Syria, and the leader of the group is on the run.
Sertac Canalp Korkmaz, a researcher in security studies at ORSAM, a think tank in Ankara, said the territorial losses of Daesh and the diminishing of the so-called “caliphate” project might traumatize its militants and sympathizers, which could push them toward organizing some “sensational” terror attacks.
“At this point, the active cooperation between the intelligence and the police forces has resulted in such successful operations and it is very important for maintaining Turkey’s domestic security,” Korkmaz told Arab News.
The Tatlibal group is known as a “takfir” group inside Daesh, and it is tasked with recruiting militants to the conflict zones.
“These people judge and accuse others of being unbeliever, or kaafir, and such terror groups abuse this concept. For them, many values in Turkey — such as republic, democracy, and secularism — do not coincide with their own interpretation of religion. Therefore, they target Turkey and similar countries,” Korkmaz said.
Since Aug. 15, 2016, Turkish police in Istanbul have launched 136 operations against Daesh and arrested 968 suspects.
Last month, Istanbul police foiled a Daesh bomb attack in a crowded shopping mall on the European side of the city. As a result of the operation, two Daesh-linked cells were brought down.


Israel destroys house of Palestinian charged with killing soldier

Updated 19 min 28 sec ago
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Israel destroys house of Palestinian charged with killing soldier

  • Israeli forces arrived at the El Amari camp before dawn on Saturday, sealed off the four-story Abu Humaid house and destroyed it
  • Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014

EL AMARI REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank: Israeli forces on Saturday demolished the family home of a Palestinian charged with killing an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank, the military and witnesses said.
Israel says Islam Abu Humaid, 32, threw a 40 pound (18 kg) marble plate from a rooftop, killing an Israeli special forces sergeant, Ronen Lubarsky, 20, during a May arrest raid in El Amari refugee camp in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
Israeli forces arrived at the El Amari camp before dawn on Saturday, sealed off the four-story Abu Humaid house and destroyed it, the military said in a statement.
The Abu Humaid family home has been destroyed before and rebuilt. Two other Abu Humaid sons are in Israeli custody, charged with the killings of five Israelis, and another two face lengthy incarceration for serious security offenses.
A sixth Abu Humaid son was killed by Israeli forces in 1994 after himself being involved in a deadly ambush against an Israeli intelligence officer in the West Bank.
According to the indictment against him, Islam Abu Humaid told interrogators that he wanted to avenge the injury of one of his brothers in a previous Israeli army raid.
“What can we do? This is an enemy who thinks that by doing such actions they will terrorize us and make us fear them,” said Islam’s mother, Latifa Abu Humaid.
“On the contrary, our animosity becomes stronger, and with it our perseverance and strength.”
Israeli rights groups have criticized family-home demolitions of Palestinian attackers as acts of vengeance and collective punishment.
Israel’s Supreme Court has largely upheld the demolition policy. Israeli officials have termed it both punitive and a deterrence to potential attackers.
“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will continue operating in order to thwart terror and maintain security in the area,” the military said.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the demolition.
Tensions flared this week in the West Bank with a string of Palestinian attacks that killed an Israeli baby and two Israeli soldiers and Israeli forces shot dead four suspected Palestinian assailants.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that in response to the attacks, slated demolitions would be sped up.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.