ISTANBUL – The Turkish authorities denied entry on Thursday to 40 Moroccan nationals trying to come into Istanbul with the apparent intention to join the Islamic State, the daily Hurriyet reported.
A group of 45 people, who arrived on a flight from Casablanca, caught the attention of specialized police teams that are tracking the presence of potential jihadists at Turkish airports.
Finally the police allowed the entry of only 4 travelers, but found evidence that the rest of the group of Moroccan citizens intended to join IS and decided to send them back to their country.
Half of the group was deported on Thursday and the other half will return to Morocco on Friday, in addition to a Syrian citizen who was apparently the group leader.
Unlike earlier months, when potential jihadists were known by their beards and traditional Arab clothes, now they avoid any outward signs, the newspaper claims.
Turkey is the country most used for Europeans and North African citizens trying to join the ranks of the IS in Syria.