Ankara bombing suspects formerly probed, cleared of al-Qaeda links
İsmail Saymaz - ISTANBULThe two suspects over the deadly Oct. 10 suicide bombings in Ankara had previously been probed by Turkish prosecutors for alleged links to al-Qaeda, but the investigation was closed down, news website Radikal has reported.
Ömer Deniz Dündar and his twin brother Mahmut Gazi Dündar were reportedly probed last year on charges of having links to al-Qaeda, but the investigation launched by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the southeastern province of Adıyaman was closed. The probe was halted despite the testimony of Mehmet Dündar, the father of the twins, that they had gone to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists.
The father said on Sept. 30, 2013 in his testimony that his sons had gone to Syria to join jihadists before coming back to Adıyaman.
After staying for two months in Adıyaman, the two then returned to Syria at the same time as the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office started the investigation into 19 suspects - including the two Ankara bombing suspects and Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz, the suspect implicated in the Suruç bombing - on charges of having links to al-Qaeda.
Alagöz’s last name was stated as “Dündar” in the indictment.
The indictment stated also that the two Ankara bombing suspects had a phone conversation with Salih Küçüktaş, one of the 19 suspects, on Dec. 3, 2013, which suggested that the Dündar brothers had been to Syria on multiple occasions.
The deadly Ankara blasts killed at least 100 civilians and wounded hundreds of others on Oct. 10 ahead of a peace-themed demonstration at the heart of the Turkish capital.
The town of Adıyaman has become notorious in Turkey as a site of radicalism among poor youths. Last year, the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office filed a case against three people - Mehmet İşbar, Salih Küçüktaş and Mustafa Dokumacı - on charges of having links to al-Qaeda. The case is still ongoing.
Dokumacı was accused of handling recruiting activities for a militant camp called “Dokumacıs” in Adıyaman, which was later revealed to have links to ISIL.
İşbar, Küçüktaş and Dokumacı were reported to be tried without arrest, but the investigation launched in the same case against the 19, including Dündar brothers and the Suruç bombing suspect, was later closed without coming to trial.
Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz was implicated in the deadly Suruç bombing that killed dozens and wounded more than 100 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa in late July.
At least 16 other suspects, including Kasım Dere, Mehmet Isik, Mehmet Mustafa Çevik, Yakup Aktulum and Rıdvan Yaman - listed in the roster of wanted suspects prepared by the national police force and the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) - were also cleared in the investigation into the “Dokumacıs.”