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Eight Men Detained at Turkish Airport on Fears They Might Pose as Refugees After Authorities Find Hand-Drawn Route to European Country


(TheBlaze/AP) —Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have detained eight people at Istanbul's main airport who they suspect could be Islamic State militants planning to make their way to Germany, posing as refugees.

The Anadolu Agency said Wednesday the eight arrived in Istanbul from Casablanca, Morocco, and were interviewed by criminal profiling teams at Ataturk Airport. Citing police sources, the agency said one of the suspects had a hand-drawn picture of a planned route from Turkey to Germany, via Greece, Serbia and Hungary.

Anadolu said the eight claimed to be tourists visiting Istanbul but a hotel refuted claims they had reservations there.

The news of these men being detained comes at time when the world is on high alert for possible terror strikes after the attacks in Paris Friday were claimed by members of the Islamic State group. The attacks on a Paris concert venue, soccer stadium and several cafes and restaurants left 129 people dead and 350 injured.

With at least one of the attackers registered as a Syrian refugee, some lawmakers have expressed concern that terrorists could enter countries by posing as one of the millions of refugees fleeing the violence.

Germany cancelled a soccer game Tuesday with the Netherlands after a threat on the stadium was received.

“We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device in the stadium,” Hannover police chief Volker Kluwe told German TV.

Referring to another bomb threat about an hour beforehand that turned out to be a false alarm, Kluwe said, “After the first object turned out to be harmless, we got a tip that had to be taken seriously that an attack was being planned.”

Since the attacks in France, air travel has been extremely cautious. On Tuesday, one plane at Baltimore-Washington Airport was delayed for hours as several passengers were removed for "suspicious activity on board." Later in the day, two Air France planes leaving the U.S. for Paris were diverted after anonymous threats were made.

Front page image via EvrenKalinbacak/Shutterstock.

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