Turkey’s border police detained eight Moroccan “terror suspects” at Istanbul’s main airport on Thursday, a senior official told Al Jazeera.
The suspects taken into custody at Istanbul Ataturk Airport were on their way to Germany through Greece, according to documents found on them.
But Turkish authorities said they were still working to confirm the information.
“While some of the detainees have been deported, others remain in custody pending their interrogation,” a senior Turkish official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorised to go on record.
“Today’s successful identification of Moroccan terror suspects attests to the fact that the most effective means to fight terrorism is for source countries to share intelligence with Syria’s neighbours,” the official added.
The detained Moroccans were reportedly suspected of having links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
According to Turkish authorities, over the past two years 4,700 “terror suspects” were questioned and 20,500 individuals banned from entering Turkey based on intelligence received from allies.
In the same period, about 1,300 people were denied entry to Turkey and more than 2,300 foreign nationals were deported.
Most recently, 41 Moroccans were denied entry to Turkey on November 9 and deported the same day after being flagged as “terror suspects”.
Reporting by Umut Uras @Um_Uras