Turkey Detains IS Militant Suspected of Planning Suicide Attack Against US Consulate

Several Killed In Attack On US Consulate In IstanbulAn Islamic State militant suspected of planning a suicide attack against the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul has been detained in Turkey, a government official said Tuesday.

The Syrian man was detained “in the past few days” at a bus station in the city of Kahramanmaraş, close to the border with Syria, the official said. In Kahramanmaraş ordered him jailed pending trial following questioning by anti-terror police. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

Last week, the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul warned U.S. citizens to avoid the building because of information about a security threat and suspended consular services for a day. Unconfirmed Turkish news reports had said the consulate was placed on high alert following intelligence about plans by Islamic State militants for a suicide attack.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara also provided “limited operations” on Monday and Tuesday because of an unspecified security threat.

Turkish police identified the suspect as Muhammed Raghil al-Hardani.

It said Turkish intelligence established that al-Hardani had crossed into Turkey “a while ago” and planned to attack the consulate. The intelligence was shared with U.S. officials.

According to Turkish media , authorities traced the man in Samsun, a city in northern Turkey, and monitored his movements. He was detained at the bus station in Kahramanmaraş on his way to Gaziantep province, bordering Syria, while dining with another Syrian. The second Syrian was released after questioning.