Friday, February 06, 2009

al-Qaeda in Turkey

Despite the bombings of a few years ago, I hadn't realized al-Qaeda was this strong in Turkey:
"The Turkish National Police (TNP) has recently been conducting operations against al-Qaeda members. In December police arrested 38 al-Qaeda members, 22 of whom were jailed. That operation revealed that the organization was planning to hit the Israeli, U.S., and British consulates in Istanbul (Sabah, December 20, 2008). On January 29 four al-Qaeda members tried to rob a post office in the Sultanbeyli district of Istanbul, but undercover police officers who were following the suspects intervened, and a gunfight ensued. One al-Qaeda member was killed and another wounded. Two others escaped (Sabah, January 29). In following days the police arrested 11 suspected al-Qaeda members. After the arrest it was revealed that al-Qaeda militants were organizing an attack on a rabbi in Bursa (Milliyet, February 3).

"Al-Qaeda has recently taken to robbing and stealing gold, money, and cars. A recent police action revealed that al-Qaeda members had stolen three cars and robbed a jewelry store and two trucks loaded with cables (Milliyet, February 3). It comes as no surprise that al-Qaeda members would steal cars or trucks for use in their attacks, but robbing jewelry stores and post offices is a new tactic in Turkey."

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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