Sultanahmet ISIL bombing probe demands long jail terms
ISTANBULThe investigation into the deadly Jan. 12 suicide attack in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet area has concluded, with prosecutors demanding jail times ranging from 7.5 years to aggravated life sentences for 26 suspects, 18 of whom are being tried under arrest.
According to the probe, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) member Nabil Fadli arrived in Istanbul 15 days before the attack to carry out advance surveys of the site in Sultanahmet, where he later killed 12 German tourists.
The order for the attack was reportedly given by ISIL “emir” Omar-Ebu Abid, who is currently in Iraq. The group’s border representatives, working under the code names “Mahir Ali Alakkal,” “Azzo Ali Alakkal” and “Omran,” reportedly gave the order for Fadli’s entrance to Turkey with the explosives a month before the attack.
The suspects were found to be frequently changing their GSM lines, using messenger programs like Telegram and WhatsApp to communicate. Messages related to the organization were sent through a crypt program called TrueCrypt.
Arriving in Istanbul 15 days before the attack, the Fadli took photos at sites like Taksim Square, Sultanahmet Square, the Hagia Sophia, and the Galata Tower and carried out reconnaissance in the Dikilitaş neighborhood, the site of the attack, according to the investigation.
After the attack, police found that Fadli, a 28-year-old Syrian citizen born in Saudi Arabia, had appealed for asylum in Turkey.
Gerhard Günther Höppner, Steffen Höppner, Rudolf Krollman, Hiltrud Krollman, Karin Erika Franke-Dütz, Rüdiger Karl Faber, Marianne Faber, Gernot Eike Mildner, Adolf Jurgen Glorius, Rudiger Becker, Birgit Glorius and another victim identified as Anke H., all German citizens, were killed in when Fadli blew himself up in Dikilitaş area of Sultanahmet on Jan. 12. It was the fourth attack staged by ISIL in Turkey after deadly bombings in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara in 2015.