Turkish security forces arrested four people on the basis of intelligence information that stated that the terrorist organisation ISIS is planning to target the British and German embassies in Ankara. However, sources at the Turkish Ministry of Interior confirmed that it has not found conclusive evidence that the detainees have links to terrorist groups.
The sources said that the information stated that ISIS is planning to carry out an act of terrorism targeting the German and British embassies during the period 13 -17 September/ This led the General Directorate of Security in Turkey to begin to monitor this issue in cooperation with the relevant agencies belonging to the two countries, and this resulted in the arrest of three people in Ankara and one in Istanbul ahead of Eid Al-Adha. The sources also said that the detainees continue to be investigated but that the results of the investigation did not provide conclusive evidence of their links to terrorist groups. The sources explained that Turkish security services worked closely with officials from both the embassies and that they are being briefed about the latest developments on an ongoing basis. Security measures were also tightened.
The German and British embassies informed the Turkish authorities of their decision to close for a period of time due to the security situation. According to Turkish sources, however, there was no specific threat. The sources said that “embassy officials have been informed that if there they have information that Turkish institutions have not seen, it is important to share it with the officials concerned.”
On his part, the British ambassador in Ankara Richard Moore said that Turkish officials have taken appropriate measures to address the threat and that the security forces provided support and cooperated. He said that he would like to “thank them for that. Nevertheless, the closure of the embassy in such a situation is a logical measure”. The British Foreign Office said earlier that it decided to close the British Embassy in Ankara yesterday for security reasons.
The German embassy stated on its website that its missions will operate in a limited capacity after the Eid Al-Adha holiday in Turkey. At the same time, Turkish security authorities have arrested 24 foreigners in a security operation targeting the terrorist organisation ISIS in Istanbul. According to the official agency Anadolu, those arrested included a Syrian called Azzov K. who was responsible for securing explosives and ammunition for members of the organisation.
The arrests came after the Turkish General Directorate of Security received information that foreigners belonging to ISIS were preparing to carry out terrorist attacks in Istanbul.