Turkey arrests 48 in nationwide Al Qaida crackdown
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
ANKARA — Turkey has launched a massive crackdown on the Al Qaida
network.Copyright © 2007 East West
In an operation deemed unprecedented, Turkish authorities have
located and arrested scores of members of the Al Qaida network. In raids
throughout the country, police detained 48 suspected Al Qaida operatives.
On Monday, Turkish police, who raised the prospect of additional
arrests, said the Al Qaida agents were detained in operations in Istanbul,
Izmir, Kocaeli, Konya and Mardin. Police said most of the detainees were
captured in Konya, Middle East Newsline reported.
The state-owned Anatolia news agency reported that the suspects were Al
Qaida operatives. None of the operatives were identified.
Officials said this was the biggest crackdown against Al Qaida in
Turkey. On Jan 26, a Turkish court sentenced seven Al Qaida suspects for
plotting to kill U.S. President George Bush during the 2004 NATO summit in
In December 2006, Turkey identified an attorney as head of the Al Qaida
network. More than 70 Turks have been on trial in connection with Al Qaida's
bombing campaign in 2003 in Istanbul, in which 58 people were killed.
Officials said the counter-insurgency mission involved 600 police,
security and special operations officers. They said the operation had taken
up to 18 months to plan.