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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

'Turkey’s Intel Agency MİT Helped Jihadists Kidnap Foreigners In Syria.': Stockholm Center of Freedom.


'Turkey’s Intel Agency MİT Helped Jihadists Kidnap Foreigners In Syria.': Stockholm Center of Freedom. (Stockholmcf).

A Turkish al-Qaeda militant who had been involved in kidnapping for a ransom to raise revenue for the radical armed group was saved by the government of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who hushed up the probe, thwarted the trial hearings and eventually secured the release of all suspects from prison.

The operative’s name is Orhan Yaşar, 43 year old (DOB: July 11, 1974) from the the Suruç district of Turkey’s southeastern province Şanlıurfa on Turkish Syrian border. He was involved in the scheme of kidnapping and later the release of Turkish photo-journalist Bünyamin Aygün of Milliyet daily from his captives in al-Qaeda affiliated armed group in Syria. Yaşar had been probed as part of the confidential investigation file No. 2012/1361 which was launched by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in the Eastern province Van in 2012.

Yaşar was detained in a sweeping al-Qaeda operation on January 14, 2014 and formally arrested few days later. He and other suspects in the case were indicted on July 2014. But Yaşar was released pending a trial on the first hearing in the case by Van No.3 High Criminal Court on August 6, 2014. 


The release of Yaşar did not make a sense at all given the fact one of the wiretap evidence in the case file revealed how he and his al-Qaeda cell leader was tipped off about the ongoing probe and planning to flee Turkey before police detained them on January 2014. Most likely the MİT learned about the police investigation file and passed that info to al-Qaeda suspects. As soon as the prosecutor was alerted by the investigators that suspects were made aware of the probe, he ordered their detention before they could have escaped the country.
There are five wiretap recordings in the investigation file that revealed how Yaşar involved in abduction of foreign nationals by al-Qaeda affiliated Jihadist groups in Syria.
The case file includes a wiretap recording that shows Yaşar was discussing the kidnapped Turkish photo-journalist Bünyamin Aygün, and Spanish correspondent Javier Espinosa and Spanish freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova. Aygün was kidnapped on Nov.26, 2013 while Spanish journalists were kidnapped on Sept.16, 2013. Yaşar was urging his contact to locate these journalists, and ask for a ransom money from their families. “Without taking any [ransom] money, do not release him [Aygün],” Yaşar was recorded as saying according to the investigation file submitted to the court.
All three journalists were eventually released from captivity but there was no mention of any ransom money was paid in exchange of their freedom. When asked about that, Aygün simply said he had no knowledge of such transaction. The interesting part of his kidnapping is that Turkish media reported that MİT teams helped secure his release and took him back to Turkey.
The controversial charity group International Humanitarian Relief (IHH), accused by Russia at the UN Security Council for smuggling arms to rebels in Syria, was also involved in negotiations for Aygün’s release. In other words, while MİT had been helping Jihadists to organize kidnapping, ransom demanding and even killing hostages, it was also brokering the release of hostages to save the day and appear as a hero at the same time.
If the MİT was helping Jihadist groups to arm, fund and resupply themselves as the evidence in the prosecutor’s confidential file suggests, it should not come as a surprise that these hostages were easily picked up from the hands of Jihadist groups. Read the full story here.

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