- Suspects were posing as tourists, held fake hotel bookings
- Special unit of Istanbul police detained suspects at airport
Turkish police at Istanbul’s main airport detained eight suspected members of Islamic State group whose final destination appeared to be Germany, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported Wednesday.
The suspects arrived Tuesday from Casablanca, Morocco and were posing as regular tourists, Anadolu reported. During their interrogation at the Ataturk Airport, the suspects’ hotel bookings were discovered to be fake, while one man was carrying a crudely drawn migration route from Istanbul to Germany through Greece, Serbia, Hungary and Austria, the report said.
The men were allegedly planning to migrate through Europe disguised as refugees, according to the news service. They were identified at the airport by a special police unit that has so far deported about 800 suspects, Anadolu said.
Following the attacks in Paris last week, Turkey was asked by its European allies to step up interception of refugees and allow those who reach neighboring countries to return, a senior European Union official said over the weekend. The EU is offering Turkey more accession talks as well as 3 billion euros in financial aid should Ankara help to stem the wave of refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and Iraq.