ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police in Istanbul have detained a suspected Islamic State group militant who was allegedly planning a “sensational” attack in the city, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Tuesday.
Anadolu Agency said the suspect, identified by the initials H.S., was detained in an operation at a hotel in the low-income Kucukcekmece district. Police seized an automatic rifle, spare magazines and bullets during the raid, the report said.
The suspect had scouted Istanbul’s main Taksim Square and surrounding areas with the aim of carrying out a “sensational” attack, Anadolu reported. He had illegally crossed into Turkey from Syria and made his way to Istanbul, the report said.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the man was detained. Anadolu said the suspect has appeared before a court which ordered his formal arrest.
It was the second time this month that police reportedly foiled possible attacks by the IS militants. Two weeks ago, police in northwestern Bursa province detained a suspected IS militant who was allegedly planning an attack on a police station.
Turkey has suffered a string of attacks by Islamic State militants over the last five years, including an attack at an Istanbul nightclub during New Year’s celebrations in the early hours of 2017. The attack killed 39 people, most of them foreigners.