In Turkey, Terror Probe Infuriates Prime Minister – Abigail R. Esman (Investigative Project on Terrorism)
In Turkey, Terror Probe Infuriates Prime Minister
(from Daily alert)
On Tuesday, two senior al-Qaeda leaders were arrested in Kilis Province in Turkey during a large-scale counterterrorism sweep by Turkish police. The arrests were conducted alongside a raid on the Van province offices of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).
Hours after the arrests, the government dismissed the two police chiefs who had overseen the operation, and reassigned several others. Moreover, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, “bodyguards of the eight prosecutors who launched the anti-al-Qaeda operations” were also replaced.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ar?nc criticized the raid on IHH offices, denying any connection between the organization and al-Qaeda.
The IHH has frequently been linked to Hamas and to al-Qaeda. It is alleged to have taken part in the plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve, 1999. Turkish authorities even launched an investigation on that point just two years ago.
Many also know IHH for its involvement in the 2010 Mavi Marmaraincident in Gaza.
Last year, Germany banned the IHH on the basis of its terror ties.