Turkey Arrests Islamic State Jihadis for New Year’s Eve Bomb Plot

Reuters: Osman Orsai
Reuters: Osman Orsai

Two men suspected of being Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) militants have been arrested in Turkey, allegedly for plotting a suicide bomb attack during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the capital of Ankara.

The UK Daily Mail relays Turkish media reports that the bombers were targeting Kizilay Square, also known as Red Crescent Square, which will be packed with revelers on New Year’s Eve.

“The suspects are accused of planning to strike at separate spots–one outside a big shopping mall and one in a street packed with pubs,” the Daily Mail writes. “The governor’s office confirmed police confiscated one suicide bomb vest, one bomb mechanism with ball bearings and one rucksack with bomb making materials.”

The report goes on to say the suspects caught the attention of Turkish authorities by moving “frequently” between Turkey and Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News reports the bombs prepared by this duo were “more effective set-ups than those used in the Oct. 10 Ankara bombings, and aimed to injure more people.” The Ankara bombing killed 103 people. The carnage from more-powerful, better-designed ball-bearing bombs ripping through a street packed with New Year’s Eve celebrants would be devastating.

The New York Times says the suspects were taken into custody during “an early morning counterterrorism operation at a house in the Yakupabdal neighborhood of Ankara.” Both men are reportedly of Turkish origin.

The Times notes that about 1,200 people have been detained in Turkey for suspected links to ISIS over the past year.


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