Turkish prosecutors are reportedly investigating allegations that suspected Islamic State terrorists have established a school in Istanbul to spread their jihadist ideology to children.
The investigation comes soon after Turkish authorities announced the arrest of more than 800 Islamic State suspects in a week.
Citing the daily newspaper Vatan, Hurriyet Daily News reports:
Prosecutors investigating a group of suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants have alleged that a school has been founded in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district to disseminate ISIL’s jihadist ideology to school-age children
The prosecutors suspect that the group founded a school through which they convey ISIL’s ideology to young children, as they found disks containing the notes of classes that are taught to students of the school.
Turkish authorities are investigating 35 suspected members of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in connection to the school.
The indictment reportedly shows that the prosecutors handling the case are demanding aggravated life sentences for six of the alleged ISIS jihadist on charges of “attempting to remove the constitutional order.”
Prosecutors are demanding up to 15 years in jail for all of the suspects for being “member[s] of a terrorist organization.”
ISIS is teaching the children that Turks who celebrate national holidays are “infidels” and urges them to reject the country’s courts, military, and political parties.
The U.S. has criticized Turkey for not doing enough to combat ISIS. Various countries accused of Ankara of turning a blind eye to the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.
ISIS has rarely attacked Turkey.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) highlighted the existence of active ISIS cells in Turkey back in 2014 when the jihadist group declared the establishment of its caliphate in the large swathes of territory it captured in neighboring Iraq and Turkey that year.
When ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent New Year’s Day attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that killed at least 39 people, the New York Times reported: “The Islamic State’s claim of responsibility came after years of complex relations between the Turkish state and the jihadist group operating across its southern border.”
“Several terrorist attacks in Turkey over the last year have been attributed to the Islamic State, but the militant group rarely claims responsibility for major attacks in the country,” it added. “A rare exception came in November, when the group claimed to be behind a deadly car bombing in southeastern Turkey.”