ANKARA ø Ansar Al Islam, regarded as one of the most lethal Islamic
insurgency groups, has extended its operation to Turkey.
Turkish officials said Ansar Al Islam operatives have been stationed in
several cities of Turkey to plan attacks. They said these operatives were
trained by Al Qaida and infiltrated Turkey from neighboring Iraq.
Ansar Al Islam was believed to have carried out the November 2003
suicide strikes against synagogues and banks in Istanbul. More than 60
people were killed in the car bombings, Middle East Newsline reported.
Since then, officials said, Ansar operatives have been streaming into
Turkey. They said many of them could have come under the guise of Kurdish
On June 18, Turkish security forces captured four suspected Ansar
operatives in Bursa and Istanbul in a plot to attack the NATO summit at the
end of this month. Officials said Turkish police seized several
remote-control bombs as part of a plot to infiltrate a car bomb into the
Officials said the four men have confessed to being part of Al
Qaida-inspired plans to carry out suicide attacks. The suspects were
arraigned at Istanbul State Security Court.
Earlier, three other Ansar members were detained in a counter-insurgency
operation in Istanbul.
In Bursa, authorities said police arrested 16 people suspected of
planning to attack the NATO summit as well as synagogues. No further details