The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said on Monday it busted a Hamas terrorist ring in Turkey planning attacks against the Jewish state.
Four students from the Palestinian Authority were arrested. Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah, 24, was detained and questioned after returning from studying abroad. His interrogation led to the arrests of three others, according to the agency: Iyas Mahmoud Abu Salah, 20, Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah, 23, and Hassin Fauz Aqra, 25.
Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah allegedly met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey and was recruited for “military” training in Turkey and Syria and told to find others to form a cell in Judea and Samaria to carry out terrorist attacks.
The Shin Bet said that the instruction included “weapons training and studying the manufacturing of explosives, in order to advance terror attacks against the State of Israel.”
A son of a senior Hamas official in Turkey maintained regular contact with the four students.
Despite Ankara’s recent warming relations with Jerusalem, including the restoration of full diplomatic ties with the exchange of ambassadors, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to allow Hamas terrorists to operate in the country. Last year saw the 10th anniversary of the Gaza-based terrorist group opening an office in Istanbul.
Turkey refuses to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, deciding not to join the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Israel and Japan in doing so.