Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Turkey Arrests Suspected ISIS Member For Planning Attack on US Warplane

Turkey Arrests Suspected ISIS Member For Planning Attack on US Warplane

Dogan news agency said Thursday that a Russian national was detained in the southern Turkish city of Adana over suspicions that he planned to crash an American aircraft at the base using a drone.

"Today Turkish media reported the detention of Russian national Renat Bakiev on the Turkish territory on suspicion ... of terrorist activities". Turkish authorities have detained a Russian national and suspected Islamic State militant for allegedly planning a drone attack on USA aircraft at Turkey's Incirlik air base, according to the Turkish police.

The Russian allegedly planned to target an aircraft at the Incirlik air base, in Turkey - a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation base from which the USA launches air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

Bakiev was detained after police surveillance showed him scouting the nearby city of Adana with the aim of carrying out his attack, local news reports.

The Dogan News Agency published a photograph of a man it identified as Bakiyev on Twitter.

Authorities said he had also scouted an association of the Alevi religious minority in Adana. It said he was affiliated with IS and had previously traveled to Syria.

Anadolu further reported the suspect had asked fellow IS members through the Telegram messaging app for 2,800 lira in order to buy the drone. IS regards Alevis as heretics.

During questioning, Bakiev allegedly defended the need to kill Alevis, whom he called "enemies of Allah", a police statement said.

Bakiev also admitted to surveying the area to prepare for an attack, according to police. Turkey was hit in 2016 by a succession of attacks that left hundreds dead in the bloodiest year of terror strikes in its history. That operation captured the alleged commander of an Adana-based IS cell, 32-year old Abdulkerim Cakar, and 10 others.

The US Air Force has used the Incirlik air base near Adana as a staging ground for the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq since 2015.

ISIS militants have been known to arm commercial drones with small explosives.

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