Turkish security forces have detained 45 people suspected of being part of an Al-Qaida cell. The detainees were arrested during simultaneous raids throughout Istanbul, local media outlets reported. The raids were carried out in eight neighborhoods in the European part of Istanbul. The local police said the suspects were planning to commit terror attacks. A few months ago, the Turkish police conducted several operations against individuals suspected of having links with Al-Qaida. During one of these operations, which took place last January in southeast Turkey, five people - including a police officer - were killed. In 2003 Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for suicide bomb attacks against the British Consulate, two synagogues and the headquarters of the HSBC bank in Istanbul, which resulted in the killings of 63 people. In February 2007 seven Al-Qaida members were sentenced to life in prison, including a Syrian citizen who was considered the ringleader behind these attacks.