Police foil planned PKK attack on Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ISTANBUL
Police on Dec. 13 found a minibus filled with 60 kilograms of explosives in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district and launched an investigation, also detaining at least 11 suspects.
According to information obtained by daily Hürriyet, the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) branch in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır noticed increased activity between PKK militants it has been tracking.
Authorities then determined that a person in contact with one of the militants in Diyarbakır bought a minibus in Istanbul, which was subsequently monitored by intelligence units.
The MİT’s Diyarbakır branch then determined that the PKK was planning a suicide attack on the Dec. 13 OIC summit in Istanbul.
Istanbul’s anti-terror and intelligence police tracked the whereabouts of the vehicle by monitoring surveillance cameras and using technical means, before determining the IDs of the suspects.
The operation kicked off when PKK militants loaded 60 kilograms of explosives onto the vehicle in a parking lot in Bahçelievler before planning to head to the summit area.
Security forces reportedly waited 20 hours for the arrival of the suspects near the minibus.
Two people were detained at the site and the investigation was broadened after their interrogation.
A PKK militant, identified only as Hamza D., who was reportedly planning to blow himself up at the summit was subsequently apprehended.
Police carried out additional detentions after the incident, with the 11th suspect being apprehended on Dec. 15 in operations conducted in Diyarbakır and the southeastern province of Mardin.
Police found that the explosives in the minibus were hidden in fire extinguisher tubes placed in cases used for carrying fish.
Authorities determined that the bombs were a mixture of fabrication RDX, PTN and HMX types and were strengthened with nails and iron marbles in order to create a wider explosion.
During the controlled explosion, police used a signal cutter, also known as a jammer, in order to prevent the explosives from being detonated with a remote control.
Moreover, the bomb mechanism found in the minibus was evaluated to be the same as the one used to kill 46 people on Dec. 10, 2016 near the stadium of Turkish football club Beşiktaş.
The authorities also investigated where the explosives were obtained from, determining that the source was northern Iraq.
According to recent findings, the explosives were smuggled into Turkey illegally and they were loaded on the minibus by the vehicle’s owner in the southeast of the country.