Al-Qaida suspects held in Turkey

Police in northwestern Turkey have detained 16 men they say were preparing to carry out bomb attacks against a NATO summit in Istanbul next month.

    Turkish UK consulate was bombed last November

    The Turkish police in the city of Bursa on Monday claimed the suspects were members of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, believed to be linked to al-Qaida.

     

    The statement making the claim gave no further details, but media reports said the governor of Bursa was expected to make a detailed statement later.

      

    Turkey is under pressure to ensure water-tight security at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit, which is scheduled for 27-28 June and will be attended by dozens of world leaders, including US President George Bush.

     

    Fears

      

    Fears over "terrorist" attacks in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city which straddles the Bosphorus, have been heightened since four bombings targeted two synagogues, the British consulate and the HSBC bank in the city last November. Sixty two people were killed and hundreds injured.

      

    Officials have blamed the November bombings on local Islamic fighters with links to al-Qaida and have indicted 69 people over the attacks.

      

    Ansar-Al Islam, founded in December 2001 by the Norway-based Iraqi Kurd Mullah Krekar, used to control a small enclave in northeastern Iraq before it was reportedly crushed by invading US forces in March last year. It then had about 700 to 900 members.

     

    On 22 March, the United States added Ansar al-Islam to its official list of "terrorist" organisations, saying it was linked to al-Qaida and had mounted attacks against US-led occupation forces in Iraq.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    An insight into the history and present of Christian nationalism, the movement behind Donald Trump's religious support.

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers.

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    What you need to know about the other pandemics that shook the world.