A hot warning received by intelligence officials revealed that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is planning an “imminent attack” on Jewish children in Turkey. Officials believe the most likely target is in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, where a Jewish school is attached to a synagogue and community center.
The information was obtained after Turkey arrested six ISIS operatives in the southern city of Gaziantep last week.
"This is a more than credible threat. This is an active plot," a Turkey source said.
Less than 10 days ago, a suicide bomber stalked Israeli tourists in Istanbul before blowing himself up near them, killing five people (four of them Israelis) and wounding many more.
"The so-called Islamic State is believed to be behind both sets of attacks and the organization continues in determined efforts to perpetrate further attacks in Turkey and elsewhere," reported Sky News, quoting from an intelligence report seen by the news outlet.
In addition to the six arrested, another three ISIS operatives were arrested last week. Turkey, it seems is scrambling to protect itself from attacks the terror group has threatened to execute all across Europe.
After the Brussels attacks, Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan shocked the world by saying that Turkey had captured one of the perpetrators of the massacre last June and send him back to his country. Erdogan specifically said that Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers in the Brussels airport, was detained in Turkey and sent back to Belgium with a warning (that was ignored) that he was a militant.
Yet, new documents obtained by Kurdish YPG fighters (People’s Protection Units) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are fighting together, refute the claim made by Erdogan that Turkey is preventing ISIS and Al-Nusra (Al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria) from travelling through Turkey to reach Syria.
The documents seized from Islamic State headquarters in seven locations, including Kobane, show that ISIS fighters from all over the world – and particularly from Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and Tajikistan — were given passage through Turkey to Syria.
The Firat News Agency (ANF), a Kurdish outlet whose websites have been repeatedly blocked in Turkey by Turkish courts, reports that the hundreds of documents show that since 2013, ISIS fighters have used the Istanbul and Adana airports and have received permits from the Turkish government to reside in Turkey until they cross over to Syria.
The documents also include bus tickets, electronic Turkish visas, residency permits, and documents with stamps from Turkish immigration officials.
Chillingly, the documents show that chemical and explosive materials was transferred from Turkey to Syria. One such document was signed by the manager of Istanbul’s Police Foreigners’ Department Erkan Aydoga. Manuals in Turkish as to how to use these materials were also given to the jihadis.
A sample of the documents can be viewed here.
Turkey, as has been previously reported, is playing a dangerous and duplicitous game with the West. As Clarion Project has wrote, Turkey’s arms transfers to al-Qaeda-linked Islamist jihadis in Syria have been long-documented, yet largely ignored by the Western media. A major raid by the U.S. on an Islamic State safe house in Syria in the summer of 2015 gleaned large amounts of intelligence undeniably linking Turkey to the Islamic State.
Similarly, the fact the Turkey has been the top financial sponsor of Hamas since 2012, with Erdogan arranging for the transfer of $250-300 million to this U.S.-designated terrorist group annually, is another oft-ignored inconvenience. Similarly, the West has brilliantly avoided confronting Turkey on its abysmal human rights record.
Using air-tight documentation, Nafeez Ahmed, editor of InsurgeIntelligence, writes about the many reasons the West has chosen to look the other way while Turkey facilitates oil sales for the Islamic State, which guarantees its strength and viability.
“There are many explanations,” writes Ahmed, “but one perhaps stands out: the West’s abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas resources.”
Since 2013, the Turkish government has been building a $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland, taking Turkey's "outreach" in America out of the realm of the subtle. This week in America, U.S. President Barack Obama will join Erdogan at the opening of the mosque, the largest in the U.S.
The show, it seems, must go on.
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org