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ISIS-linked suspects detained after threat shuts US Embassy in Turkey

06 March 2018

In 2013, the same Marxist group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), used a suicide bomber to assault the US Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard and the perpetrator. The notice also advised U.S. citizens in Turkey should avoid large crowds, keep a low profile and otherwise be cautious.

The detentions came after the Ankara Governor's Office stated late on March 4 that extra security measures had been taken in the city upon intelligence that "terrorist actions" could take place in areas where US citizens are located.

The Turkish capital saw a wave of attacks in 2015 and 2016 in which hundreds were killed.

Police detained four Iraqis residing in the Black Sea province of Samsun who had been preparing for an attack on the embassy, Anadolu said.

The arrests came as the embassy was closed on Monday over an unspecified security threat.

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Two of the suspects were arrested on a bus on a highway between the Samsun and Ankara.

Turkish police have carried out a number of raids against suspected IS cells in the country, including swoops that saw 29 foreigners detained over alleged links to the group.

"The Embassy will announce its reopening, once it resumes services", the statement read.

Security measures have also been strengthened in places of the Turkish capital where United States citizens live.

It was not clear if the embassy's closure was related to Monday's police operation.

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A statement from the prosecutor's office said the suspects were detained in a police operation on March 5.

The US embassy is in the heart of the capital, close to parliament.

The Governorate of the Turkish capital separately warned of an attack on the USA embassy or public venues where Americans frequent.

For Turkey the Syrian Kurdish militias are an extension of their domestic Kurdish insurgency, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

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ISIS-linked suspects detained after threat shuts US Embassy in Turkey