Turkey cracks down on foreign fighters

The Washington Post reports: The plea for help came from Sweden: Two young Muslim males had left Stockholm for Syria and would soon be terrorists-in-training unless authorities in Turkey could intercept them.

Turkish security caught the men arriving at an airport in Istanbul with one-way tickets and camouflage gear, officials said. The two were sent back to Sweden and the trouble averted — until eight days later, when the same duo turned up at a Turkish seaport, this time arriving by ferry from the Greek island of Kos.

The back-to-back deportations of those would-be militants last year were in some ways a sign of substantial progress in the cooperation between Western governments and Turkey in sharing intelligence and stemming the flow of foreign fighters to Syria.

But the sequence and hundreds of similar cases have also fueled rising levels of frustration in Turkey, which has been accused of enabling the migration of fighters into Syria even while being called upon to block militants on behalf of other governments unwilling or unable to do the job themselves. [Continue reading…]

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