Ankara bomber infiltrated Turkey with fake ID: Report

Ankara bomber infiltrated Turkey with fake ID: Report

Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA
Ankara bomber infiltrated Turkey with fake ID: Report The perpetrator of the suicide bomb attack that killed at least 28 people in Ankara on Feb. 17 entered Turkey with a fake identity, an initial report within the investigation into the deadly bombing has revealed. 

Born in the southeastern province of Van, the bomber identified as Abdulbaki Sömer entered Turkey with a fake Syrian identity showing his name as “Salih Muhammed Neccar” in 2014, telling the authorities that he had escaped Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) violence in Syria. He also said he was a Syrian national, the report prepared by Turkey’s counterterrorism and intelligence police has revealed, based on a comprehensive study that conflicts with statements made in the aftermath of the bombing. 

Turkish officials had claimed that the perpetrator was a Syrian national from the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers to be the Syrian offshoot of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The police launched the latest study after the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a smaller outlawed organization thought to have split from the PKK, claimed responsibility for the bombing. The TAK on Feb. 19 said one of its members, named Abdulbaki Sömer, carried out the Ankara attack, which targeted service vehicles carrying military personnel. 

Following the claim, Musa Sömer, the father of Abdulbaki Sömer, was detained and transferred to the Turkish capital for interrogation within the investigation.

Authorities then took DNA samples from Sömer’s father to test if it matched the DNA of Muhammet Salih Neccer, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had earlier said carried out the bombing. Erdoğan and Davutoğlu’s statements had been based on tests on the finger prints of body parts found at the scene of the attack, but the subsequent test result showed a match between Neccer and Musa Sömer, thus identifying the perpetrator as Abdulbaki Sömer.

Police have so far arrested 14 suspects on suspicion of being connected to the bombing at the heart of the Turkish capital last week, which killed 28 and injured 81 others. The 14 suspects were arrested on charges of “assisting a terrorist act” and “fabricating false state documents.”

Based on information drawn from the detained suspects, the authorities believe the bombing was ordered by PKK members Mehmet Doğan (nicknamed “Baran”) and İshak Özçaptu (nicknamed “Erhan”). 

The investigation has also revealed that the bomb detonated in the attack was made at a construction site in Ankara.  

The perpetrator Sömer had called a man working at the construction site on the phone before the attack, according to the probe. 

The duo then started staying together at the construction site, to which two of the 14 detained, identified as Ahmet Karaman and Muharrem Canikli, brought materials used for bomb making. 

The deadly Feb. 17 attack at the heart of Ankara was the second attack to hit the Turkish capital after alleged ISIL militants bombed a large peace rally on Oct. 10, 2015, killing 102 people.