ISIS child training camp discovered in Istanbul
ISIS child training camp discovered in Istanbul –
A raid by Turkish authorities on Sunday uncovered several ISIS (Islamic State) training sites for children in basement apartments in Istanbul, Turkish media reports.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet News, Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit stormed 18 homes in the city’s Pendik and Baakehir district, where rented apartments had been converted into training camps to educate children on how to live under ISIS rule in Syria and Iraq. Police uncovered battlefield maps as well as documents describing the group’s contacts in both countries.
Authorities say surveillance operations indicated the cell was preparing to leave Istanbul the group’s territories in Syria and Iraq, prompting raids that arrested over 50 suspects, mostly from Uzbek and Tajik origins, including 24 children.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan declared its allegiance to ISIS in August, and around 5000 Uzbek nationals are thought to be already fighting alongside Daesh in Syria and Iraq.
The Istanbul arrests comes amid ramped up efforts by Turkish police to combat extremism after bombings thought to be carried out by ISIS-sympathizers in Ankara killed 102 people and injured over 200 earlier this month. On Monday, Turkish authorities announced the identity one suicide bomber, according to Reuters, while the investigation to identify the second bomber in ongoing.