Turkish police have arrested eight suspected members of the Islamic State (ISIS) after the jihadis attempted to make their way to Germany while posing as Middle Eastern refugees.
The believed ISIS members had a hand-drawn map in their possession that showed they would travel to Germany, via Turkey, Greece, Serbia, and Hungary, according to a report.
The eight men came to Istanbul from Casablanca, Morocco, where they were screened by authorities at Ataturk Airport. The Anadolu Agency state-run news service said the eight alleged ISIS terrorists said they were visiting Istanbul as tourists, but when authorities checked in with the hotel where they claimed to have reservations, the hotel had no record of their booking.
Istanbul’s Security Directorate Counterterrorism and Intelligence Branch continues to hold the eight Moroccan nationals for questioning, the state news agency added.
The arrest of the eight suspected ISIS members comes less than a week after one of the deadliest terror attacks in European history, when over 129 were killed and hundreds injured after ISIS-affiliated jihadists conducted several attacks throughout Paris, France.
Turkey has faced its own jihadi terror as of late.
In early October, two suicide bombers simultaneously self-detonated during a peace rally in the country’s capital city of Ankara, killing at least 97 people and wounding hundreds more.
Turkey has become a crossing point for jihadists who seek to both enter and exit the European continent.
The Turkish government announced in late October that about 200,000 people have attempted to cross their border illegally into Syria. Many of the illegal border-crossers were apprehended by Turkish authorities and charged with being members of the Islamic State terror group.
Ankara has attempted to ramp up security measures to quash the free flow of jihadists through the country. Additional measures include constructing stretches of concrete walls and fences along strategic areas of the border, while also utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and manned aircraft to spot illegal migrants and aspiring terrorists.