First Published: 2017-08-10

Turkey arrests Russian jihadist planning US base attack
Bakiev suspected of being member of IS group doing reconnaissance work for plot to ‘bring down a US plane using a drone’ at Incirlik airbase.
Middle East Online

Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey

INCIRLIK - Turkish authorities on Thursday detained a Russian suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group for allegedly plotting a drone attack on an American warplane at a US base in southern Turkey.

State-run Anadolu news agency said that Renat Bakiev is accused of seeking to stage an attack at "the Incirlik airbase or a plane stationed there".

Quoting local police, it said that "for this purpose, he worked to obtain a drone".

Dogan news agency added that Bakiev is suspected of seeking to "stage a bomb attack aiming to bring down a US plane using a drone" at the Incirlik airbase.

He allegedly carried out reconnaissance work for the plot, both reports said, without giving further details on how the plan would have been put in place.

Anadolu further reported the suspect had asked fellow IS members through the Telegram messaging app for 2,800 lira ($790) in order to buy the drone.

The Russian embassy in Ankara said in a statement it was "carrying out the necessary work to understand what happened and make clear the circumstances"

The United States uses Incirlik, in Adana province, as a key base for air strikes against the IS jihadists in neighbouring Syria.

Bakiev also is suspected of carrying out preparations for a plot to attack a centre of the Alevi religious minority -- an offshoot of the Shia sect of Islam -- in Adana city, Dogan reported.

Bakiev was detained in Adana, it said. A court later remanded him in custody ahead of trial.

Anadolu also reported claims that Bakiev had been to Syria to fight with IS and had sought to stage an attack against American forces there, but without success.

Images showed the suspect -- clean shaven and wearing an orange T-shirt -- being led to a medical check by two Turkish policemen after his arrest.

Turkey was hit in 2016 by a succession of attacks that left hundreds dead in the bloodiest year of terror strikes in its history.

The attacks were blamed on IS jihadists who had taken swathes of territory in neighbouring Syria and Iraq as well as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who have battled the Turkish state in an over three-decade insurgency.

Thirty-nine people were killed, mainly foreigners in a gun attack by an jihadist gunman on an elite nightclub in Istanbul just 75 minutes into New Year's Day in 2017.

There has since been a lull in similar attacks, but tension and high security remain in big cities.

Turkish security forces have frequently detained Russians -- especially residents of the mainly Muslim northern Caucasus -- in raids against IS suspects in Istanbul.

Several Russians have been arrested over the triple suicide bombing and gun attack on Istanbul's main international airport in June last year blamed on IS. The trial is due to get start on November 13.

 

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Students in Damascus brave shelling to attend school

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant

Morocco arrests three suspected IS terrorists

Family of dead environmentalist in Iran threatened

Israel hands life sentence to Palestinian for triple murder

US appeals to Turkey to concentrate on fighting IS

Turkey sets up new 'observation point' in Syria's Idlib

Malaysia rejects criticism over Israeli visit

Tillerson in Ankara to ease Turkey tensions

Egypt arrests ex-presidential candidate

Tillerson: Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's 'political process'

Netanyahu says government ‘stable’ despite police recommending indictment

Corruption accusations facing Netanyahu

Syria denies ‘unacceptable’ chemical weapons use

Nations pledge nearly $25 billion toward Iraq's reconstruction

Egypt remands in custody former anti-corruption chief