2 arrested over plot to attack Syrian refugee camps- UPDATED

Two suspects were jailed over planning bomb attacks and kidnappings on Syrian shelter seekers.

2 arrested over plot to attack Syrian refugee camps- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

A court in Turkey's southern Adana province sent on Friday two suspects to prison accused in an alleged plot to stage bomb attacks and kidnappings at camps Syrian refugees stay near the country's border with Syria.

One other suspect was released by the court pending a trial.

The three suspects were among six people who were detained on Tuesday in connection with the alleged plot. The other three were released earlier.

On May 11, twin car bombs killed 51 people and injured at least 100 in the Turkish town of Reyhanli in the deadliest spillover of violence since the uprising began in March 2011.

Reyhanli is an entry-point for the Syrians fleeing the more than two-year-old conflict, which, according to the UN, has killed more than 80,000 people. The war sent 1.5 million people to seek shelter in neighboring countries and internally displaced 4.5 million others.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler said on Thursday that a soldier had been detained as part of an investigation into the leak of classified military intelligence documents about tips the intelligence service had received prior to the Reyhanlı bombings that were later obtained by hacker group RedHack (Kızıl Hackerlar) and revealed to the public this week.

The minister said RedHack did not obtain the secret documents following a cyber attack on the computers of a local gendarmerie intelligence unit in the southern province of Hatay as was reported but with the help of a soldier from within the unit. According to the minister, the documents have no connection to the Reyhanlı attack as the content of the documents was “mixed up” by RedHack.

Güler also added that Turkish authorities are certain that individuals linked with the Syrian intelligence agency al-Mukhabarat, as previously stated, carried out the May 11 bombings. “We don't have any doubt about who organized the Reyhanlı attack.”

Turkey blamed the Syrian regime for the attacks, but Damascus has denied any role in the Reyhanlı bombings. Some 18 people have been detained in the Reyhanlı investigation so far, and 12 of them have been arrested. The police are carrying on efforts to capture three more suspects who reportedly fled to Syria after the bombings.

The deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Hüseyin Çelik, also confirmed the development and said one soldier had been detained as part of an investigation into the leaks. However, he said the documents were not obtained by RedHack as a result of hacking the Gendarmerie General Command's website. “A gendarmerie private took pictures of those documents with his mobile phone and sent them to the hackers via email. This is not hacking; this is leaking,” he stated.

RedHack earlier in the week released a number of classified documents, which included information about the Reyhanlı bombings, suggesting that four vehicles with Syrian license plates had been readied by the radical al-Nusra Front to be sent to Hatay.

Questions over the authenticity of the documents sparked a round of debates in the media, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan portrayed the leak and documents as a mere “propaganda campaign” when he touched upon the issue at a joint press conference with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Thursday. “These issues are closely followed by our intelligence organization,” he said.

Meanwhile, the hacker group has claimed that they actually did hack the gendarmerie intelligence website and that the officer detained is innocent. The group posted a message on Twitter that read the military had launched a “witch hunt” to punish an innocent soldier to prove its statements correct.

Last Mod: 25 Mayıs 2013, 11:26
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