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Turkey detains Belgian citizen over links to Paris attacks

Ahmet Dahmani, 26, is accused of conducting reconnaissance work to choose the sites for the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

By: AFP | Istanbul | Updated: November 21, 2015 5:37:59 pm
Paris, Paris Attack, Paris Attacked, Paris Anti Terror Op, Paris Terror Attack, Paris Police Raids, Paris Explosion, Paris blast, Paris Shootout, Paris Gunfire, paris jihadists, paris suburb shooting, Paris News, Paris Attack news, France News Belgian Army soldiers patrol next to flowers left outside of the French Consulates office in Brussels. (Source: AP)

Turkey has detained a Belgian citizen of Moroccan origin on suspicion of links to the Paris attacks, a media report said today.

Ahmet Dahmani, 26, is accused of conducting reconnaissance work to choose the sites for the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists, the Dogan news agency reported.

He was detained close to the southern resort city of Antalya along with two Syrian citizens who were to help him cross the border into Syria, the report added.

Turkish official says arrested Belgian is thought to have been in contact with Paris attackers.

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Anti-terror police had followed Dahmani after he arrived at Antalya’s airport and checked into a five-star hotel in the luxury resort of Manavgat to the east of the city on November 16.

They then detained him and the two Syrians, who the report said had been tasked by the IS leadership to supply him with a fake passport and take Dahmani to safety in jihadist-controlled Syria.

It was not immediately clear when they had been detained. All three were taken to court and remanded in custody, the report added.

Antalya had only one week ago hosted — under the heaviest security — the annual Group of 20 summit of world leaders including US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Turkey has long been accused by its Western allies of failing to do enough to halt the flow of jihadists across its border to IS controlled-territory in northern Syria.

However the authorities have been making conscious efforts in recent weeks to tighten Turkey’s borders, making almost daily arrests of extremists seeking to join IS.

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