ISTANBUL, Turkey, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Police in western Turkey said they captured suspected members of al-Qaida who were plotting to attack religious and U.S. interests in the country.
Police in Tekirdag, about 80 miles west of Istanbul, said they arrested 11 suspected al-Qaida members and seized nearly 50 pounds of explosives. Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reports police say the suspects were plotting attacks on synagogues, churches and the U.S. consulate in Istanbul.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Feb. 1 warned U.S. citizens of the dangers of traveling to Turkey after a suicide bomber attacked the embassy grounds. The leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front claimed responsibility for that attack, which left the bomber and a Turkish embassy guard dead.
Today's Zaman reports Tekirdag police have been monitoring suspected al-Qaida activity in the area for the last two years.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled Friday to visit Turkey.
There's been no statement from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on the plot allegations.