REPORT: THERE ARE ACTIVE ISIS CELLS INSIDE TURKEY
Turkey has contributed to the rise of the brutal Islamic State by turning a blind eye to the ongoing flow of money, weapons, illegal oil, and fighters across its border to the jihadist group in Syria, according to a new report.
Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and other terrorist groups have also benefited from the lack of security on the Turkish side of the porous Turkey-Syria border where the report says active cells linked to the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, and ISIL) can be found.
“All of this has raised questions about Turkey’s value as an American ally, and its place in the NATO alliance,” notes the report authored by the Jonathan Schanzer and Merve Tahiroglu from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
It also reveals that there are many ISIS sympathizers inside Turkey.
“Turkey appears to have contributed to the rise of extremism in Syria. Multiple reports suggest that extremists of all stripes have exploited Turkey’s porous border with Syria over the last several years, and now IS is reaping the benefits,” says FDD.
“There now appears to be IS cells active inside Turkey’s border,” the report continues. “Turkey has also cut at least one prisoner swap deal with IS that resulted in the release of militants who returned to the front. Turkey’s southeastern frontier [bordering Syria] is a transit point for fighters, weapons, cash, and more.”