Operatives of a secretive terrorist network in Turkey supported by the Iranian regime scouted the area hosting a NATO early warning radar system, an ongoing investigation of Turkish police has revealed.
According to an 854-page police investigation “on the Tawhid-Salam terror network obtained by Today's Zaman, witness testimony provided to the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office on March 22, 2013 indicated that suspects tied to Iranian intelligence had collected information” about the site.
“The witness said many front companies with the cover of legitimate businesses such as real estate agencies or bookstores had been established in Malatya by people with ties to Iran in order to gather intelligence on the NATO radar base,” Today’s Zaman news website of Turkey reported.
The Iranian regime has held the top spot on the list of foreign countries establishing companies in Turkey in 2011, and the number of Iranian-owned firms rose steadily each month in 2012, the report said.
Observers have repeatedly pointed out concerns in Ankara that some of the Tehran-backed businesses may be front companies set up to finance terrorist activities as well as to circumvent United Nations and United States-sponsored sanctions on the Iranian regime.
The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), an organization that tracks foreign firms, reported that Iranians set up 111 companies in Turkey between January and June of 2014. The number of Iran-funded companies set up in 2013 was 280.
Turkey hosts an early warning radar system as part of a NATO missile defense system to protect its European allies. The radar was deployed at a military base in Kürecik, and has been operational since January 2012.
The system is designed to prevent an Iranian missile threat, as explicitly stated by US officials on several occasions.