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Russian 'terrorist' arrested near USA air base in Turkey

10 August 2017

Police on August 10 detained a Russian-citizen Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant, who was reportedly planning to down a US plane stationed at the İncirlik air base in the southern province of Adana with a drone before staging an attack on an Alevi association.

A Russian national identified as Renat Bakiev was reportedly detained in the southern Turkish city of Adana over suspicions that he planned to crash an American aircraft at the base using a drone. Turkish private news agency Dogan said a court later ordered him formally arrested pending a trial.

Adana police said Bakiev had ties to ISIS and also meant to assault the local Alevi community - a religious minority ISIS regards as heretics.

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A statement from police claims Bakiev was affiliated with ISIS and had previously travelled to Syria.

The suspect appealed for nearly $800 from other extremists on the Telegram messaging app - which ISIS sympathizers use widely - to buy a drone, police said. The religious group is also the largest one in Turkey and is an offshoot of Shia Islam. ISIS considers Alevis as heretics.

A Turkish news agency reports that Bakiev had told police that he needed to kill Alevis because he considered them "enemies of Allah". Officials said he admitted to surveying the Incirlik air base to plan out his strike, and attempted to attack Americans - but he was unsuccessful.

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ISIS has used drones to attack UK-backed coalition troops Iraq and Syria. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has also been blamed for a succession of attacks in 2016, a bloody year in Turkey's history.

The United States uses Incirlik, in Adana province, as a key base for operations against the IS jihadist group in neighbouring Syria.

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Russian 'terrorist' arrested near USA air base in Turkey