Turkey Detains Russian Man For Plotting Drone Attack on American Plane

Turkish authorities have detained a suspected Islamic State militant of Russian origin after he allegedly planned to use a drone to bring down a U.S. plane at the Incirlik air base, Dogan News Agency said on Thursday.

Dogan, citing security officials, said Russian national Renat Bakiev was detained after police surveillance showed him scouting the southern city of Adana, where the base is located, with the aim of carrying out his attack.

Bakiev told authorities that he was a member of Islamic State and planned to use a drone to bring down a U.S. plane and carry out an attack against U.S. nationals, Dogan said.

Authorities said he had also scouted an association of the Alevi religious minority in Adana. He described Alevis as “enemies of Allah,” and criticized President Tayyip Erdogan, while being interrogated, Dogan said.

Turkey has been a partner in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State forces, providing the coalition with access to Incirlik air base to wage strikes against the militants.

Ankara has detained more than 5,000 Islamic State suspects and deported some 3,290 foreign militants from 95 different countries in recent years, according to Turkish officials. It has also refused entry to at least 38,269 individuals.

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  1. Turkish security forces arrested a Russian national who was planning on attacking the US Air Force base at Incirlik, possibly by using a weaponized drone.

    Renat Bakiev had reportedly planned on downing an American aircraft by crashing a drone into it mid-flight over Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. Authorities arrested Bakiev after they monitored him filming operations at the base. Bakiev admitted to police that he previously attempted to attack US forces at the base, but was unsuccessful.

    The US base at Incirlik is used as a staging grounds for US bombing raids against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

    The Islamic State has been using weaponized drones with devastating effectiveness. In May, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the terrorist group had begun using drones, for both intelligence gathering and attacks.

    “In the past year, ISIS’s use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) for surveillance and delivery of explosives has increased, posing a new threat to civilian infrastructure and military installations.” Stewart testified.

    The Pentagon recently issued a directive limiting use of private drones, amid fears that some may be susceptible to hacking from ISIS. US Intelligence had reported that the Islamic State’s familiarity with certain drones’ control systems made them a ripe hacking-target that could provide valuable intelligence, such as troop movements.

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