Foreign recruits of Islamic State, eager to migrate to the territory the militant group had carved out in Iraq and Syria, would prepare their staples — a phone, a solar charger, a few garments — before buying round-trip plane tickets (the better to avoid suspicion).
Their destination? Almost always Turkey.
Once having landed there, they continued on to towns dotting the 566-mile border Turkey shares with Syria, crossing over for a new life among those who shared their fanatical vision.
It was just one of the ways that Turkey was the conduit for all things extremist. Turkey was where Islamic State acquired food and other essentials, found medical treatment for injured fighters, and even got the fertilizer needed to make car bombs.
Read the full story and more in the Los Angeles Times.