Turkey has deported some of the eight suspected members of the Islamic State group who were detained in Istanbul this week, but others are still in custody, a government official said today.
Counter-terror police detained the suspects at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport after they flew in from the Moroccan city of Casablanca on Tuesday.
Local media said they were planning to sneak into Europe under the guise of being refugees.
“The individuals were detained in accordance with the assessment of on-site profilers, who flagged the Moroccan nationals as terror suspects,” the official told AFP.
“While some of the detainees have been deported, others remain in custody pending their interrogation,” said the official, who wished to remain anonymous and did not give figures.
Local media had reported that Turkish police found a hand-written note on one of the suspects detailing a migration route from Istanbul to Germany via Greece.
The Turkish official said authorities were not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the alleged travel itinerary as well as the claims that the suspects were attempting to enter Europe by disguising themselves as refugees.
Turkey is the main launching point for migrants fleeing to Europe in search of better lives, and currently hosts over two million Syrian refugees.
The Paris attacks last week however raised security concerns over the migrant flow, after the discovery at the scene of a suicide bombing of a Syrian passport registered in the Greek island of Leros on October 3.