ISIS using Turkey as a strategic base - Dutch intelligence report
The Islamic State (ISIS) is using Turkey as a strategic base in reorganising its efforts to threaten Europe, according to a recent report by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD).
AIVD’s new report published on Monday notes that Turkey “was for a long time a springboard for an unprecedented number of foreign fighters who traveled to Syria from all over the world,” Kurdistan24 website reported.
Noting that ISIS and al Qaida use Turkey as a strategic base, the report stressed ISIS’ exploitation the country’s “relative peace’’ to forge plans for its international ambitions.
The Turkish government does not consider jihadi groups a security threat, the report stressed, highlighting that “Turkish interests do not always correspond with European priorities on the field of counter-terrorism is problematic.”
At least 4000 people have travelled from Turkey to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS since the beginning of the civil war in Syria while more than 20,000 people in Turkey are in contact with Salafist networks, according to journalist and author of a book on Turkey’s ISIS networks Doğu Eroğlu.
Turkey was rocked by a series of fatal ISIS attacks in between 2015-2017 which took place in the southeastern province of Urfa, capital Ankara, followed by the Atatürk Airport and a famous night club in the city of İstanbul.