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What Does a Recent ISIS-K Terror Attack Mean for Turkey?

On January 28, 2024, masked assailants attacked a Roman Catholic church in Istanbul, killing one person. Shortly afterward, the Islamic State, through its official Amaq News Agency, claimed responsibility. Turkish police detained 47 people, most Central Asian nationals.

The incident shed light on the growing presence in Turkey of a Central Asian offshoot of the Islamic State group known as ISIS-K for Khorasan, once a large portion of the Persian Empire now divided among Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asian states.  The Jan. 28 assault was the group’s first successful attack in Turkey since Jan. 1, 2017, when jihadists invaded an Istanbul nightclub, killing 39 people and wounding nearly 80. Continue reading