Wed, 19 Sep 2018

Turkey claims to have foiled attack on U.S. embassy

By Sheetal Sukhija, Southeast Asia News
07 Mar 2018, 10 GMT+10

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey has announced that its police force managed to foil a planning Islamic State militant group (ISIS) attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

Ankara Governor’s Office said that it has implemented extra security measures in the city after receiving intelligence about “terrorist actions” that were to take place in certain areas where U.S. citizens are located. 

Based on the information, the Turkish police said they managed to foil the ISIS attacked on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on March 5.

The police also detained suspects in the capital Ankara and the Black Sea province of Samsun.

The Governor’s Office said in a statement, “Upon intelligence coming to our units from U.S. sources that terrorist actions could be undertaken targeting the U.S. Embassy and where U.S. citizens are staying, security measures have been reviewed and extra measures have been taken.”

Subsequently, officials announced that the U.S. Embassy in Turkey had suspended operations on March 5 and 6 due to an “unspecified security threat.”

The Embassy posted a statement on its website on March 4, which urged U.S. citizens to avoid the embassy in Ankara and large crowds, as well as to “keep a low profile.”

The statement added that the embassy will be closed “due to a security threat. The Embassy will announce its reopening, once it resumes services.” 

However, the statement did not mention any specific details about the threat.

A day later, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said U.S. consulates in Turkey were “operating as normal.”

According to officials quoted in a report in the state-run Anadolu Agency, during the operation, four Iraqi nationals were detained in Samsun by the National Intelligence Agency (MÄ°T) and local anti-terror authorities.

The agency also added that several digital documents were seized in the operation.

Further, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the police in the city had detained 12 suspected ISIS militants in Ankara and are searching for eight others.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the suspects were detained in a police operation on March 5. 

It added that all the suspects are foreigners but did not provide detail on their nationalities.

The statement also added that the detained suspects are accused of trying to recruit members for ISIS and were “in contact with people in conflict zones.”

According to officials, the suspects in Samsun were detained on charges of plotting an attack against the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and were taken to the police station for formal legal proceedings.

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