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Daily Archives: April 22, 2009

Turkish police detain 17 in anti-Al-Qaeda raid

Turkish police Tuesday rounded up 17 people in simultaneous operations against suspected cell houses of the Al-Qaeda extremist network, Anatolia news agency reported.
Most of the 11 suspects were detained in the southern province of Gaziantep, where the security forces, backed by armoured vehicles, raided several locations in two districts early in the morning, it said.
Four people were detained in the neighbouring provinces of Sanliurfa and Adana, and two others in the central city of Konya. They were to be brought to Gaziantep for questioning.
Following police interrogations, the suspects are to appear before a court, which will decide whether there is enough evidence to bring formal charges against them.
The raids follow the arrest eaarlier this month of seven people accused of having links to the extremist network, in simultaneous operations in the western province of Eskisehir.
A Turkish newspaper reported in March that Ankara had received US intelligence that Al-Qaeda militants could be plotting attacks on foreign targets in Turkey.
A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda was held responsible for truck bombs against two synagogues, the British consulate and a British bank in Istanbul in 2003, which killed 63 people, including the British consul, and left hundreds injured.
Seven men were jailed for life in 2007 over the bombings, among them a Syrian national who masterminded and financed the attacks.
In January, a suspected Al-Qaeda militant was killed and three others captured in a shootout with the police in Istanbul after the group attempted to rob a post office.

Tajikistan arrests eight Uzbek ‘terrorists’

Police in the Central Asian state of Tajikistan have arrested eight members of an Uzbek "terrorist" organisation with links to the Taliban, the interior ministry said yesterday.
Interior Minister Abdurakhim Kakharov told reporters that the militants – purportedly members of the US-labeled terrorist organisation the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) – were detained several months ago.
"All of the activists were detained in the north of the country, since the beginning of the year," Kakharov said.
Kakharov did not say why the arrests were announced now, some three months after they were made.
The IMU was founded in the mid-1990s in authoritarian Uzbekistan with the goal of overthrowing Uzbek President Islam Karimov and creating an Islamic Sharia law state in the ex-Soviet republic.
But the group — which later moved to bases in Taliban-ruled northern Afghanistan — is largely thought to have been destroyed during NATO's fierce bombing campaign at the opening of the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet republics, shares a long and highly porous mountain border with increasingly volatile Afghanistan.

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