Arrested Terrorist Shows Hamas Leaders Operating ‘Unhindered’ in Turkey

Hamas militant Malik Nazar Yusef Kazmar. Photo Courtesy of ISA

Israel levied a subtle but incriminating charge against the lack of enforcement on Palestinian terrorism in Turkey on Wednesday, after a Hamas member was caught by the Israelis after plotting in Turkey with Hamas handlers. Malik Nazar Yusef Kazmar—who previously lived in Turkish Cyprus—met in Turkey’s capital city of Istanbul in January with Hamas militants who instructed him to form a terror cell in Judea and Samaria, according to a press release from the Israel Security Agency. He was arrested by Israeli security forces in February after he returned from Turkey.

Prior to his meeting in Turkey, he had been recruited in Jordan and gone to Syria for training on firearms and guidance on building explosive devices. The incident shows Hamas’ continued interest in building a terror network in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, while also raising concerns about Turkey. “The Hamas leadership continues to make use of militants returning to Judea and Samaria in order to perpetrate acts of terrorism, even as its senior figures operate unhindered in various countries,” said the ISA press release.

The ISA said that as part of the investigation, Kazmar surrendered a memory card from his Hamas handlers in Turkey “which was loaded with encrypted material including extensive security instructions and information designed to aid him in his mission.”

While Israel and Istanbul have patched up their relationship to some degree, Turkey has long provided an uncomfortably welcome environment for Hamas and the terror group’s supporters.

The Mavi Marmara Gaza blockade running ship, which turned into a seaside battle and sparked the Turkish shunning of Israel in 2010, is just one example of Turkish support for the radicals in the Gaza Strip and their friends.

And the latest incident in which Hamas terrorists plotted to attack Israel from Turkey continues that trend. The ISA said the situation “underscores the activity of Hamas’ overseas headquarters, including on Turkish soil,” which they noted is “at the behest” of Saleh Arouri, the leader of Hamas’ “West Bank Office”.

From Jordan, to war-torn Syria, to Turkey, to heart of Israel, Kazmar’s journey of terrorism thankfully was stopped before its dangerous conclusion. But that travel log highlights the ongoing regional threats that continue to face Israel.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 5, 2017)


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