ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities have arrested three suspected members of the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Istanbul, including two Pakistanis and a Briton, state media said Tuesday.
The state-run news agency said the Pakistani suspects had been detained last week in a raid on their homes in Istanbul’s central Mecidiyekoy district.
Police then expanded the operation based on intelligence the suspects provided and detained the British suspect, identified as Hasan H., at a bus stop in the conservative Fatih district, it added.
All have now been remanded in custody by a court.
Anatolia said that Hasan H. was believed to be linked to Aine Lesley Davis, a close associate of the notorious British IS militant known as “Jihadi John” who Washington believes was likely killed in a recent drone strike in Syria.
Davis, a London-born British Muslim who turned to Islamist militancy, was among IS suspects detained in November in Istanbul the same day as the Paris attacks, for allegedly planning to stage a parallel attack in Turkey’s largest city.
There has been no further information on Davis’ case since his detention.
Long criticised for not doing enough to stem the flow of militants across its volatile border with Syria, Turkey has stepped up fight after a number of deadly attacks on Turkish soil blamed on IS, making almost daily arrests of would-be jihadists.
Earlier December the government said that over 2,700 suspected militants from 89 countries had been detained in Turkey and deported.