Police ignored Turkey’s ISIS teahouse threat

The Daily Beast reports: Turkey’s police and intelligence services may have ignored a wave of warnings about potential suicide bombers from the so-called Islamic State that could have prevented the deadly blasts in Ankara that killed almost 102 people last weekend. And many of those warnings centered on a tea house about a 90 minute drive from the Syrian border that was known to be a way station, or worse, for ISIS recruits.

Critics say the authorities’ refusal to move against members of ISIS cells in the country amounted to covert support for the jihadists. “We are not talking about failure here, but about intent,” said opposition lawmaker Veli Agbaba. “People we identified months ago are now killing our young. There is only one explanation: [the government] not seeing ISIS as a terrorist organization.”

Turkey frequently has been accused of supporting radical Islamic groups in neighboring Syria in the hope that rebels will bring down President Bashar al-Assad. The government refused to help Syrian Kurds break a siege by ISIS in the northern Syrian city of Kobane last year and waited until July to join the U.S.-led military alliance against ISIS. Since then, Turkish warplanes have conducted far more airstrikes against Kurdish rebels than against ISIS positions. [Continue reading…]

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