First Published: 2017-03-20

Turkey detains three linked to Berlin attack
Turkish media saysthree suspects, German citizens of Lebanese origin, were detained by anti-terror police at Istanbul's main Ataturk airport.
Middle East Online

German police patrol with submachine guns at the Christmas market at Breitscheid square in Berlin, Germany, December 30, 2016

ANKARA - Turkish authorities have detained three people linked to last year's deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market, local media reported Monday, saying the suspects were headed to Europe.

Tunisian attacker Anis Amri hijacked a truck on December 19, killed its Polish driver and ploughed the vehicle through the market in a attack claimed by the Islamic State group that claimed 11 more lives. The assault left 56 others injured.

Turkish media including the website of leading daily Milliyet said the three suspects, German citizens of Lebanese origin, were detained by anti-terror police at Istanbul's main Ataturk airport.

The reports did not specify what their alleged links to the Berlin attack were, but cited intelligence that said the three wanted to go to an unidentified European country.

Four days after the December attack, Amri, 24, was shot dead by Italian police after he fled to Milan.

One of those arrested at the airport had been waiting to go to Europe with the intention of launching a terror attack after he had entered Turkey illegally, the reports added.

Separately, a German citizen of Jordanian origin allegedly linked to Amri and believed to be a IS member was caught in the Aegean city of Izmir on March 11, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey has been hit by multiple attacks blamed on IS in the last 18 months, including a gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub just 75 minutes into 2017 which left 39 dead.

Many foreign extremist fighters in Syria made their journey to the war-torn country via Turkey prompting Western allies to chide Ankara for not doing enough to halt IS militants.

But Turkey has stepped up its security on its 911-kilometre (560-mile) border with Syria and officials insist the country has done all it can in the fight against IS.

 

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurdistan

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq