A fugitive Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspect from Turkey who was released from pretrial detention in the southeastern province of Gaziantep in 2014 has been found to have trained potential suicide bombers, two of whom were captured in southern Turkey in 2017, according to an indictment, Turkish Minute reported.
The suspect, Ahmet Güneş, is a defendant in the ongoing trial at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court related to the 2015 bombings in Ankara that killed 103 people and injured more than 500, the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of modern Turkey.
Güneş was arrested in March 2014 on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and released in October 2014 when Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) informed the court that Güneş’s name was not found on any terrorist list either inside or outside Turkey.
He allegedly participated in the twin Ankara bombings a year later, which, according to Turkish authorities, were perpetrated by ISIL against a group of leftist and Kurdish demonstrators gathered at the Ankara train station.
According to an indictment drafted by the Hatay Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of some suspected ISIL members captured in a car in Hatay on June 23, 2017 based on a tipoff from MİT, Güneş’s fingerprints were found on the suicide belts on the bodies of two suspected ISIL suicide bombers.
Three suspected ISIL suicide bombers were captured at the time, all of whom were Turkey-born Turkish citizens.
Police also found the fingerprints of another fugitive ISIL suspect, Ömer Deniz Dündar, on the suicide belts of the suspected bombers.
Güneş’s father, Cemil Güneş, who was arrested in July 2017 due to his alleged links to ISIL, said in his testimony, included in the indictment, that his son is an ISIL militant, he trains ISIL militants and was planning to stage a suicide attack in Turkey.
Ahmet Güneş and Dündar are charged with membership in a terrorist organization, attempting to overturn the constitutional order and possessing explosives without a permit.
Earlier this month the T24 news website published a story which claimed that Güneş was released from pretrial detention in 2014 despite a video showing him as being present at an execution carried out by ISIL.
About a year and a half prior to the massacre, police officers in Gaziantep stopped a vehicle in which Güneş, one of the fugitive defendants in the Ankara bombing case, was a passenger. The officers discovered a hard disk, flash drive, memory card and ski mask after materials were seen being thrown into bushes from the vehicle. A subsequent examination of the hard disk revealed footage of an ISIL execution in which both Güneş and Yunus Durmaz, another individual who later detonated himself during a police raid at his residence, were present.
This evidence was introduced at the Ankara trial only seven years after the bombings.