Officials in Turkey announced they have detained a person from Ottawa Canada who they believe helped three teenage girls get into Syria with the intent on joining ISIS. The foreign intelligence operative has been charged with a crime.
Although the Turkish government has been questioned, they are remaining quiet about most of the details pertaining to the individual. However, they have stressed that this person is not a Canadian citizen nor an employee of Canada’s security agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or CSIS although someone close to the situation said the individual is in fact a member of CSIS.
Steven Blaney, Public Safety Minister stated that they are fully aware of reports being made but because this is an operational issue of national security, no information can be released.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, foreign minister from Turkey said the suspect provided assistance to the three teenage girls although he has worked for CSIS of a country not affiliated with the US-led coalition that is fighting against ISIS. When pressed for the country the individual is from, he declined to comment, simply stating it was not the US or a European Union Member.
He was again questioned about the person who helped the girls, to which Cavusoglu said it was someone who works for the intelligence service of a country that is connected to the coalition.
Reportedly, the person was detained over a week ago. The Foreign Office in London confirmed they knew about the arrest and that the families of the three teenage girls were made aware as well.
Immediately after being informed of the person’s arrest, authorities in the United Kingdom acted.
The three girls are all from Britain and soon after flying through Turkey to reach Syria, they were identified as Shamima Begum 15, Amira Abase 15, and Kadiza Sultana 16. They left their home in Britain last month and at some point, crossed into Syria in an effort to join ISIS as fighter brides.
Since then, there has been a tremendous amount of tension between Turkey and Britain, each blaming one another for the girls making it to their final destination. Turkey believes that Britain failed to notify the property authorities that would have allowed the teens to reach their country while Britain blames Turkey because they did not stop them from crossing over into Syria.
In addition to images of the girls at the airport in Britain on the first leg of the trip, the last seen images were released earlier this month in the form of surveillance video that clearly shows all three girls were at a bust terminal in Istanbul in a city that closely borders Syria. Because of that, there is now no question that the three teenagers reached their intended goal.