Syrian national Abdulkerim Hilef was arrested over an alleged terror attack on Anzac Day services in Gallipoli.
Syrian national Abdulkerim Hilef was arrested over an alleged terror attack on Anzac Day services in Gallipoli.

Gallipoli terror suspect granted bail

THE Syrian national accused of plotting to attack Anzac Day services at Gallipoli has been released on bail.

A Turkish court released Abdulkerim Hilef following a closed hearing on Tuesday.

He will have to report to authorities but no details have been released of his next court appearance.

New details on the suspect who allegedly planned to attack the Anzac Day services in Gallipoli has emerged, as a video of Islamic State's leader calling for more attacks was posted online.

Hilef, who was arrested over the Anzac Day plot, had been a member of Islamic State for more than four years and had trained to be a soldier.

Turkish officials have revealed Hilef was from Dezzour, a former Islamic State stronghold in Syria.

Syrian national Abdulkerim Hilef was arrested over an alleged terror attack on Anzac Day services in Gallipoli.
Syrian national Abdulkerim Hilef was arrested over an alleged terror attack on Anzac Day services in Gallipoli.

Hilef's role with Islamic State and whether he actively fought for the regime remains under investigation.

It comes as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 47, released a video calling for more terrorist attacks across the world.

Seen for the first time since 2014, Baghdadi, 47, accepts that Islamic State has lost its territory, but praised the Sri Lankan terror attackers.

"The brothers will take vengeance, as they will not forget it as long as they have blood in their veins, and there will be a battle after this one," he said in the video, which authorities were trying to verify.

"In fact, the battle of Islam and its people against the crusaders and their followers is a long battle."

A bagpiper performs during the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach. Picture: AP
A bagpiper performs during the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach. Picture: AP

Hilef, 26, was still in custody as Turkish officials continue their probe.

"He's from one of the biggest strong holds of ISIS, it was the first biggest city they captured and the last biggest city they left," a Turkish official, who did not want to be named, said.

A picture of his links with other Islamic State operatives in Turkey has also started to emerge.

He was in regular contact with Abdurrahman Al Abit and Usama Salama, Islamic State leaders who were arrested in Osmaniye on April 14.

"He has been talking with these guys many times over the phone and that is the reason why he has been captured," the Turkish official said.

"He had joined ISIS in 2015. They are trying to figure out if he had connections with other people."

Turkish authorities were examining two SIM cards found in his possession.

Hilef was motivated to attack the Anzac Day services in "retaliation" for the live streamed

Aussies gather for last week’s dawn service at Anzac Cove at Gallipoli Picture: Ella Pellegrini
Aussies gather for last week’s dawn service at Anzac Cove at Gallipoli Picture: Ella Pellegrini

massacre of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australian Brenton Tarrant has been charged over the attack.

Turkish president Recep Erdogan said after the attack that Australians and New Zealanders would be "sent home in coffins".

The current probe has centred on whether Hilef planned to drive a car through a crowd of people or leave a bomb at Anzac Cove.

Both plans would have been difficult to execute because of high security at the site.

He was arrested in Tekirdag, Turkey, 140km north of Gallipoli on April 23, but news of the arrest broke just hours before the services were to commence.

The dawn service at Anzac Cove and the Lone Pine memorial both went ahead on Anzac Day without incident.

Since ISIS was defeated in Syria in March, authorities across the world have been concerned about whether people who fought there for ISIS may carry out attacks in other countries or brainwash others to do so.

The deadly Sri Lankan attacks on Catholic churches and western hotels, which killed 253 people, have been claimed by ISIS.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk



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