Turkey frees wanted ISIL suicide bomber before rearresting her

A Turkish court had freed a wanted suicide bomber before rearresting her after the prosecutor’s office filed a motion challenging the release judgment.

Turkey freed the suicide bomber after she was detained on the Turkish-Iraqi border. Ayşenur İnci, an alleged member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who was on the Turkish government’s list of wanted terrorists, was released pending trial.

The court rearrested her on Dec. 21 after the chief public prosecutor’s office appealed the release decision.

İnci surrendered to Turkish authorities at the border on Dec. 15, 2018 according to the governor’s office in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province, which stated that the police had worked on her case without elaborating further what the work involved.

According to local reports, she surrendered to Turkish security forces at the Habur border gate on the Turkish-Iraqi border after her father convinced her to turn herself in.

Turkey’s Ministry of Interior listed İnci in the “blue category” of people wanted for suspected terrorism and was offering TL 1.5 million ($285,000) for information leading to her capture. She was referred to court for arrest by the prosecutor’s office, but the judge ruled for her release pending trial. The judge placed her under judicial supervision, meaning that she was subject to a travel ban and had to report to the local police at regular intervals.

In 2015, Turkish police released the names of 20 suspected ISIL suicide bombers after 142 people were killed in three bombing attacks that were blamed on ISIL the same year. İnci was among the suicide bombers identified by the police.

According to opposition lawmaker Mahmut Tanal in a speech he delivered in Parliament on March 8, 2016, the Turkish government had paid TL 7,230 for İnci in scholarship funds. An account at the state-owned bank Ziraat Bank showed money had been transferred to her account by the government’s General Directorate of Higher Education Credit and Hostels (Yüksek Öğrenim Kredi ve Yurtlar Kurumu Genel Müdürlüğü) since 2015.

İnci, 24, left home on October 10, 2014 to join ISIL and her father filed a missing persons report with the Adıyaman police department. The public prosecutor’s office launched an investigation and identified her location as Mayadin, a town in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate of Syria.

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