Türkiye questions why ‘anti-US’ Daesh hit it, Russia, Iran

Türkiye questions why ‘anti-US’ Daesh hit it, Russia, Iran

In the wake of a terror attack at a Moscow concert hall that killed more than 130 people, Türkiye is questioning why the Daesh terror group has consistently targeted the same region, namely Türkiye, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia, despite being a self-proclaimed “anti-U.S.” group.

“It’s notable that Daesh, considered to be one of the bloodiest terrorist organizations, and its so-called offshoot Daesh-Khorasan Province (Daesh-K), have carried out their recent attacks in the same region,” Turkish security sources said Monday in a statement.

“Türkiye has been one of the top targeted countries by Daesh,” they said, citing attacks as recent as a church shooting in Istanbul in late January, in which one man was killed and more victims were spared when the terrorists’ weapons were jammed.

Daesh remains the second biggest threat of terrorism for Türkiye, which faces security risks from multiple terrorist groups and was one of the first countries to declare it as a terrorist group in 2013.

Daesh extremists have not previously targeted places of worship on Turkish soil, but they have carried out a string of attacks, including against a nightclub in Istanbul in 2017 that left 39 people dead and a 2015 bombing attack in Ankara that killed 109.

In October 2022, Daesh-K, known to be active mostly in Afghanistan and surrounding regions, attacked the Shah Cheragh mosque in Iran’s Shiraz, killing 15 people and injuring 40 others.

In December 2022, the same terrorist group attacked a Chinese-owned hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing three people and injuring 15 others.

In early 2024, Daesh-K carried out an attack, killing 103 people and injuring dozens of others, during a commemoration ceremony for slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani on the anniversary of his killing, in Kerman, Iran.

The pattern of Daesh attacks raises questions about how they choose the countries they target and these don’t include the Western world or the United States, Turkish security sources said.

They accused a “deep power focus: of operating under the auspices of their subcontractors and carrying out their attacks with their orders.”

Radicalization of terrorists

Their statement also confirmed that the four gunmen who attacked the concert hall in the Russian capital visited Türkiye briefly to renew their residency permits in Russia.

Russia detained the terrorists following the deadly attack, who now face life in prison for their ruthless crime. Some reports on Russian media outlets claimed that the terrorists came to Russia from Türkiye, but security sources noted that the perpetrators had been residing in Moscow for a long period and had to visit another country and chose Türkiye due to its proximity to extend their stay in Russia.

Sources dismissed the claims that the two of the terrorists, who were of Tajikistan origin, were radicalized in Türkiye and instead said they were radicalized in Russia, stressing that the short period they spent in Türkiye wouldn’t be enough for their radicalization.

Furthermore, there was no search warrant for the two terrorists, which enabled them to freely travel between Russia and Türkiye.

According to sources, terrorist Shamsidin Fariduni entered Türkiye on a flight on Feb. 20, 2024, and left on March 2, 2024. He checked in at a hotel in Istanbul’s Fatih district one day after his arrival and checked out on Feb. 27. In his testimony, he confessed to visiting Türkiye after his Russian visa expired.

Terrorist Saidakram Rajabalizoda came to Istanbul on Jan. 5, 2024, and checked in at a hotel in Fatih district and checked out on Jan. 21, 2024, sources said, adding that he left the country on the same flight with terrorist Fariduni.

“Türkiye continues to fight all terrorist groups, including Daesh, PKK/YPG, al-Qaida and others, with determination,” sources said.
147 suspects nabbed

Daesh-K has been looking for new “methods” and recruiting foreign members for its activities after constant counterterrorism operations became a “challenge,” sources say.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) thwarted the terrorist group’s efforts for recruitment, obtaining funds and logistics support after its latest operation in the aftermath of the church shooting.

In December last year, Turkish security forces detained 32 suspects over alleged links with Daesh, who were planning attacks on churches and synagogues, as well as the Iraqi Embassy.

Turkish airstrikes also target hideouts of Daesh in northern Iraq and Syria near the Turkish border.

Terrorists from Daesh and other groups such as the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, rely on a network of members and supporters in Türkiye. In response, Ankara has been conducting pinpoint operations and freezing assets to eliminate the terrorist groups at their roots.

Türkiye deported 9,000 foreign terrorist fighters, mainly from Daesh, from 102 different nationalities, of which 1,168 are from the U.S. or EU member countries, since 2011.

In the past nine months, Turkish police also arrested 656 alleged Daesh terrorists in countrywide operations and prevented 19 attack attempts, according to figures from the interior ministry.

Similarly, on Tuesday, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said security forces captured a total of 147 suspects linked to Daesh in simultaneous raids across 30 provinces.

Source » dailysabah.com