4 Turkish terrorists caught in Texas after being smuggled across border

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said he would be surprised if the men were part of a plot against the U.S.

“We have the PKK listed as a terrorist organization, but we’re certainly not at war with the PKK the way we are with al Qaeda,” Mr. Schanzer said. “The possibility that the PKK could be trying to fundraise here in the United States or to be involved in political activity is certainly possible. But this seems like a very difficult way of trying to achieve that.”

He said the same was true of the DHKP/C: “It’s a Marxist-Leninist group. We’re not at the peak of the Cold War here anymore. This is a Turkish-oriented organization. It just does not seem to add up, from my perspective.”

Mr. Schanzer at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said Istanbul’s international airport was the hub for many foreign fighters arriving in the region, who then traveled to Syria or Iraq. He said the U.S. and other nations now need to begin wondering about the reverse path from Syria and Iraq back through Istanbul to their home countries.

“They’re going into Istanbul and then fighting, crossing the eastern front, and eventually they’re going to come back home,” he said.

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