Turkey police arrest 10 over suspected links to Qaeda

Turkish police have arrested 10 people on charges of suspected links to Al-Qaeda, local media reported on Tuesday.

The suspects are claimed to have provided weaponry and recruits for elements of the Syrian opposition, charges they vehemently deny, the Hurriyet newspaper said on its website.

"We've been arrested just because we recite the Koran and we are Muslims aiding Syrians," it quoted one of the suspects as saying.

Police conducted the raid to arrest the suspects in the central Anatolian province of Konya as part of an operation against the radical organisation.

Turkish security forces have regularly targeted suspected Al-Qaeda supporters since twin suicide bombings hit Istanbul in November 2003.

A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda was held responsible for those attacks, in which explosive-laden trucks first targeted two synagogues, and then the British consulate and a British bank, killing a total of 63 people, including the British consul.

Turkish media reported last week that police have uncovered and foiled an alleged plot by Al-Qaeda to bomb the US embassy in Ankara, as well as a synagogue and other targets in Istanbul.

The embassy in Ankara was the target of a suicide bombing on February 1, which killed a Turkish security guard. That attack was claimed by a radical Marxist and anti-US armed group, The Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C), blacklisted by the US and the European Union as a terrorist organisation.