Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on Friday said Turkish authorities have captured a total of 45 suspects linked to the Daesh terrorist group in nationwide raids.

Operations code-named “Bozdoğan-48” netted the suspects in 16 cities including Istanbul, the capital Ankara, western Izmir, southern Antalya and southeastern Şanlıurfa provinces, Yerlikaya informed on X.

Authorities also seized large amounts of cash in Turkish lira and foreign currencies, as well as digital organization materials, the minister added.

Türkiye has been rounding up Daesh-linked suspects in ramped-up operations since the terrorist group attacked an Italian church in Istanbul in late January, killing one man during Sunday Mass.

Daesh operates a so-called Khorasan Province (Daesh-K) network in Türkiye, which looks for “new methods” and recruits more foreign members for its activities after constant counterterrorism operations became a “challenge,” security sources say.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) thwarted the terrorist group’s efforts for recruitment, obtaining funds and logistics support after its latest operation in the aftermath of the church shooting.

Daesh remains the second biggest threat of terrorism for Türkiye, which faces security risks from multiple terrorist groups and was one of the first countries to declare it as a terrorist group in 2013.

In December last year, Turkish security forces detained 32 suspects over alleged links with Daesh, who were planning attacks on churches and synagogues, as well as the Iraqi Embassy.

Daesh members have not previously targeted places of worship on Turkish soil. Still, they have carried out a string of attacks, including against a nightclub in Istanbul in 2017 that left 39 people dead and a 2015 bombing attack in Ankara that killed 109.

Terrorists from Daesh and other groups, such as the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, rely on a network of members and supporters in Türkiye.

Turkish authorities have ordered the freezing of millions of lira worth of assets since 2013 to crack down on terrorism financiers in line with U.N. sanctions.

Türkiye has increasingly been working to cut off and prevent the financing of terrorism, a pillar of the fight against terrorism worldwide. In the past 11 years, it has frozen the assets of 1,918 individuals and organizations, according to official figures compiled by the Anadolu Agency (AA).

Authorities found that of the 1,332 individuals and organizations targeted in Türkiye, 655 were linked to the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), 275 were linked to the PKK, 259 to Daesh and al-Qaida, 11 to the Nusra Front and 132 to other terrorist organizations.

In December last year, Turkish intelligence captured a top Daesh terrorist in charge of the terrorist group’s finances in the Damascus region in an operation in Türkiye’s southern Mersin province. Over $28,000, 14,950 euros, TL 31,800 and digital materials were confiscated in the operation targeting Hudhaifa al-Mouri, code-named “Ayyoub,” who was responsible for coordinating funds sent to Daesh members abroad.

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