About 3000 people in Turkey are believed to be linked to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, a Turkish intelligence report has found.
The report called for enhanced surveillance of the 3000 people, including identifying their rank within the extremist group or whether they were active within it, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.
A ‘red alert’ had also been sent to security units warning of possible attacks on the embassies of Western countries by IS jihadists following last week’s deadly Islamist attacks in France, the report said.
Security at the diplomatic missions had been increased to the maximum level, the report said, adding that NATO facilities and Western nationals were also potential targets.
And it warned of possible bomb attacks ‘anywhere and anytime’ in Turkey by ‘sleeping cells’.
Most of the vehicles stolen in Turkey ended up in the hands of IS jihadists, it said, warning they could be used in car bomb attacks in the country.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said up to 700 Turkish nationals had joined the IS.
He added that Turkey had barred entry to about 7250 people from abroad who were planning to join IS and said 1160 would-be jihadists were also deported.
Turkey has long been accused of not doing enough to stem the flow of jihadists seeking to join the IS group, which has captured large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
The Turkish government said on Monday that Hayat Boumeddiene, the wanted partner of one of the gunmen involved in last week’s Paris attacks, crossed into Syria via Turkey days before the assaults, amid reports that she may have joined IS.
A female suicide bomber killed herself and a policeman last week in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, home to the city’s greatest concentration of historical monuments.