Credit Istanbul Police Department, by way of European Pressphoto Agency
BERLIN — The Turkish border police detained eight Moroccans in Istanbul this week soon after becoming suspicious that they have been Islamic radicals who planned to infiltrate Europe by joining the migrant stream.
The hotel exactly where the men mentioned they had booked rooms for a trip denied having a reservation, and the guys were carrying charts and papers seeming to show that they did not plan to keep in Turkey, but would as an alternative follow the now well-worn migrant path west and north.
Turkey says it has detained about 1,000 suspected Islamic State extremists this year, but the eight men from Casablanca, reported Wednesday by the semi-official news agency Anadolu, had been the initial known to be flagged for attempting to embed as refugees. Turkish authorities stated some of the males had been deported and some remained in custody.
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The episode highlights Turkey’s function as the gateway for refugees marching to Europe, and added new urgency to a discussion that has been continuing for weeks, as European leaders seek Turkey’s cooperation in stemming the migrants’ flow. Those talks, though, have stalled amid mutual distrust, as nicely as Turkey’s insistence on making use of the crisis to receive anything it has long wanted: visa-cost-free travel for its citizens to Europe.
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The Islamic State emerged from a group of militants in Iraq to take over massive portions of Iraq and Syria, and now threatens other nations in Europe and elsewhere.
Throughout the 4 years of Syria’s civil war, Turkey, a member of NATO, has been accused by the West of not policing its southern border with Syria, permitting jihadists and weapons to very easily enter Syria. It was only more than the last year that Turkey awoke to the dangers of the Islamic State and became prepared to crack down a lot more forcefully at the Syrian border.
Now, in the aftermath of the Paris attacks and the revelation that the French police had discovered a Syrian passport at a single attack site that was used by a man who had passed from Turkey to