13 more detained in deadly bomb attack in Istanbul
Thirteen more people, including five in Bulgaria, have been detained for aiding Ahlam Albashir, the perpetrator of a terror attack on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue, which claimed the lives of six people and wounded several dozen.
The intelligence unit of the police found the license plate of the taxi Albashir got into after the attack and determined the route of the activist and the point where he got off.
Taking the statement of the taxi driver, the police then found the license plate of a vehicle belonging to another PKK/YPG terrorist Ahmed Jarkas, who provided logistical support to Albashir after that point. Jarkas dropped Albashir at home and left.
According to the examination of the records and the statements of the detainees, Albashir made reconnaissance on İstiklal Avenue on three separate days with a pirate taxi driven by a man named Bilal Hassan and a member of the organization with whom she had come from Syria with before the attack, daily Hürriyet said earlier.
Pretending to be a couple, the duo got a job in a textile workshop in Esenler, it added.
Hassan set out for the northwestern province of Edirne after the attack. Ahmed Jarkas’ brother and human smuggler, Ammar Jarkas, handed Hassan over to a man in the city, Hüseyin Güneş, who then transferred Hassan to Bulgaria.
Amran Abdulrami, sought with a red notice by Interpol, welcomed Hassan in Bulgaria.
Siika Mileva, the spokesperson of the Bulgarian Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, announced that five suspects, including Abdulrami, one of them is of Arab origin and three of them Moldovans, were detained. However, Hassan was not caught.
In Türkiye, the police identified two suspects determined as helping Albashir and Hassan cross the border. Six more people who were found to have aided the attack were also detained, bringing the number of detainees in the country to eight.
Meanwhile, the disposal teams collected the pieces of the bomb and determined that nails and metal parts were put into the bomb.
Police specified that the explosive used in the attack was TNT.
Albashir reportedly stated in her interrogation that she was trained as a “special intelligence officer” by the PKK/YPG that she joined.
“I met the YPG in Manbij in 2017. I met a man named Ahmed A., whom I learned to be a YPG member, and we were lovers. Then Ahmed went to Jarablus, and I went after him. The organization tried to draw me in and offered assignments. After a while, I lost track of Ahmed, but my relationship with the organization did not cease as they didn’t leave me,” Albashir said in her statement, daily Hürriyet reported.
The deadly attack originated from the Manbij region in northern Syria, which the government considers a major source of the PKK/YPG, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said earlier.
“The attack was one of the civilian massacres of the PKK that we have seen many times before,” Soylu stated.
The two attacks in the last two months, on İstiklal Avenue and in Mersin, were an attempt to pull Türkiye back into the grip of global instability as the election of the century approaches, Soylu said, referring to the attack with long-barrelled weapons on the police station in the southern province.