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‘Paris attack scout’ arrested with two others in Turkey, say reports | World news | The Guardian

the guardian

Belgian-Moroccan man suspected of helping to pick targets, according to Turkish media, while two Syrians also detained for allegedly aiding his journey

Turkish police have detained a Belgian man of Moroccan origin on suspicion that he scouted out the target sites for Islamic State in attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, according to the country’s Dogan news agency.

The 26-year-old was detained at a luxury hotel in the southern coastal city of Antalya, Dogan said, without citing its sources. Turkish officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The report said two other men, both Syrian citizens, were also detained on a nearby highway on suspicion that they had been sent by Islamic State in Syria to ensure the man’s safe passage across the border and were planning to meet him.

Counter-terrorism police first became aware of the man when he arrived on a flight to Antalya and tracked him to the hotel in the Manavgat district of the city, Dogan said.

Separately Turkey deported a group of Moroccans detained at Istanbul’s main airport this week over suspected links to Islamic State.

The eight, who said they had arrived at Ataturk airport on Tuesday night from Casablanca for a holiday, were detained by border police and questioned by profiling experts who flagged them as suspected militants, a government official said.

Meanwhile Brussels was put on its highest alert level on Saturday as Belgian officials warned the public to avoid crowds because of a “serious and imminent” threat of an attack.

The level four threat was declared following a meeting of top ministers, police and security services.

“The advice for the population is to avoid places where a lot of people come together like shopping centres, concerts, events or public transport stations wherever possible,” a spokesman for the government’s crisis centre said.

Belgium, and its capital in particular, have been at the centre of investigations into the Paris attacks after it emerged that two of the suicide bombers had been living in the country. Three people detained in Brussels are facing terrorism charges.

The brother of one of the suicide bombers, who was also living in Brussels, is still on the run. Salah Abdeslam was briefly pulled over by French police near the Belgian border early last Saturday morning along with two of those in custody.

All able states should join the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and redouble efforts to prevent further attacks by the militant group, the United Nations security council has declared in a unanimous vote.

On Friday night the 15 members of the security council adopted a French-drafted resolution calling on United Nations members to take “all necessary measures” in fighting Islamic State.

“The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,” said the resolution.

Isis used the chaos of Syria’s nearly five-year civil war to seize territory in Syria and Iraq, where a US-led coalition has been bombing the militants for more than a year, while Russia began air strikes in Syria in September.

The council resolution “calls upon member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures … on the territory under the control of Isil [Isis]” It also urges states to intensify efforts to stem the flow of foreigners looking to fight with Isis in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress financing of terrorism.

“Welcome to everybody who finally woke up and joined the club of combating terrorists,” Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, told reporters before the vote on the French-drafted resolution.

The British prime minister, David Cameron, who is seeking to extend Britain’s air strikes against Isis into Syria, called the vote on the French-drafted text an “important moment”.

“The world has united against Isil [Islamic State]. The international community has come together and has resolved to defeat this evil, which threatens people of every country and every religion,” he said.

“Today’s vote shows beyond doubt the breadth of international support for doing more in Syria and for decisive action to eradicate Isil.”


Sorgente: ‘Paris attack scout’ arrested with two others in Turkey, say reports | World news | The Guardian

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