Suicide bomber kills one outside U.S. Embassy in Turkey
Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:24 AM
Ozertem said that one plausible theory is the group is trying to send a message to Turkish authorities by attacking the U.S. Embassy because the building is near the Turkish parliament.
DHKP-C has a track record as a "subcontractor" group for other militant outfits but it is also believed to have relationships with states in the region such as Syria and Iran, Ozertem said. The group also has a relationship with the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, which has been warring with the Turkish government for some time.
Ozertem said that the attack could be linked to negotiations between PKK and Turkish government, or that Syria or Iran could be involved considering the recent deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey as a defense against possible missiles from Syria. He said he is unaware of any direct link between DHKP-C and al Qaeda.
At the chaotic scene at the embassy, there were conflicting accounts concerning how many were wounded.
Ankara police and health officials said two were injured, while Ankara Gov. Aladdin Yuksel said one person was hurt.
"Turkey has led calls for international intervention in Syria and is hosting hundreds of Nato soldiers from the US, Germany and the Netherlands who are operating a Patriot system along its border with Syria."
Interesting....linked to Israel attack?
McCoy: We were speculating. Is God really out there?
Kirk: Maybe he's not out there, Bones. Maybe he's right here. [points to his heart]
Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:44 AM
Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:43 AM
The suicide bomber who struck the U.S. Embassy in Ankara spent several years in prison on terrorism charges but was released on probation after being diagnosed with a hunger strike-related brain disorder, officials said Saturday.
The bomber, identified as 40-year-old leftist militant Ecevit Sanli, killed himself and a Turkish security guard on Friday, in what U.S. officials said was a terrorist attack. Sanli was armed with enough TNT to blow up a two-story building and also detonated a hand grenade, officials said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that police believe the bomber was connected to his nation's outlawed leftist militant group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C. And on Saturday DHKP-C claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on a website linked to the group. It said Sanli carried out the act of "self-sacrifice" on behalf of the group.
The group called itself "immortal" and said, "Down with imperialism and the collaborating oligarchy." But it gave no reason for attacking the U.S. Embassy. The authenticity of the website was confirmed by a government terrorism expert who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with rules that bar government employees from speaking to reporters without prior authorization.
Three suspects detained, says TV report
Turkey's private NTV television, meanwhile, said police detained three people on Saturday who may be connected to the U.S. Embassy attack during operations in Ankara and Istanbul. Two of the suspects were being questioned by police in Ankara, while the third was taken into custody in Istanbul and was being brought to Ankara.
NTV, citing unidentified security sources, said one of the suspects is a man whose identity Sanli allegedly used to enter Turkey illegally, while the second was suspected of forging identity papers. There was no information about the third suspect.
Earlier, Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said Sanli had fled Turkey after he was released from jail in 2001, but managed to return to the country "illegally," using a fake ID. It was not clear how long before the attack he had returned to Turkey.
NTV said he is believed to have come to Turkey from Germany, crossing into Turkey from Greece. Police officials in Ankara could not immediately be reached for comment.
DHKP-C has claimed responsibility for assassinations and bombings since the 1970s, but it has been relatively quiet in recent years.
Hunger strike-related disorder led to previous prison release
Sanli's motives remained unclear. But some Turkish government officials have linked the attack to last month's arrest of dozens of suspected members of the DHKP-C group in a nationwide sweep.
Speculation also has abounded that the bombing was related to the perceived support of the U.S. for Turkey's harsh criticism of the regime in Syria, whose brutal civil war has forced tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to seek shelter in Turkey. But Prime Minister Erdogan has denied that.
Officials said Sanli was arrested in 1997 for alleged involvement in attacks on Istanbul's police headquarters and a military guesthouse, and jailed on charges of membership in the DHKP-C group.
While in prison awaiting trial, he took part in a major hunger strike that led to the deaths of dozens of inmates, according to a statement from the Ankara governor's office. The protesters opposed a maximum-security system in which prisoners were held in small cells instead of large wards.
Sanli was diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and released on probation in 2001, following the introduction of legislation that allowed hunger strikers with the disorder to get appropriate treatment. The syndrome is a malnutrition-related brain illness that affects vision, muscle co-ordination and memory, and that can cause hallucinations.
Sanli fled Turkey after his release and was wanted by Turkish authorities. He was convicted in absentia in 2002 for belonging to a terrorist group and attempting to overthrow the government.
Bomber had 6 kg of TNT
On Saturday, the U.S. flag at the embassy in Ankara flew at half-staff and already tight security was increased.
The Ankara governor's office, citing the findings of a bomb squad that inspected the site, said Sanli had used 6 kilograms of TNT for the suicide attack and also detonated a hand grenade. That amount of TNT can demolish "a two-story reinforced building," according to Nihat Ali Ozcan, a terrorism expert at the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey.
Officials had earlier said that the bomber detonated a suicide vest at the checkpoint on the outer perimeter of the compound.
The guard who was killed was standing outside the checkpoint. The U.S. ambassador on Saturday attended his funeral in a town just outside of Ankara.
A Turkish TV journalist was seriously wounded and two other guards had lighter wounds.
DHKP-C's forerunner, Devrimci Sol, or Revolutionary Left, was formed in 1978 as a Marxist group openly opposed to the United States and NATO. It has attacked Turkish, U.S. and other foreign targets since then, including two U.S. military contractors and a U.S. Air Force officer.
The group, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and other European allies, changed its name to DHKP-C in 1994.http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/02/02/us-embassy-turkey-bomber.html
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