ISIL suspects in Ankara bombing case received training in Syria’s Tel Abyad, secret witness says
ANKARASome of the suspects in the deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bomb attack in the capital Ankara two years ago received training in the Syrian border city of Tel Abyad for 40 days, according to a secret witness’ testimony in the ongoing case’s fifth hearing, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Sept. 25.
The fifth hearing in the trial of 36 suspects, of whom 20 are currently in jail, over the bomb attack in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, which killed 102 people and injured many others, took place in the Ankara 4th Heavy Penal Case on Sept. 25.
Chief judge Selfet Giray announced during the trial on Sept. 25 that the public prosecutor’s office of the southeastern province of Gaziantep had sent the court a death register belonging to one of the suspects, named Mehmet Kadir Cabel, who was killed in a police operation on Oct. 16, 2016.
The police conducted a raid on a suspected ISIL safehouse, killing Cabel, last year. That raid came after an ISIL suicide bomber detonated explosives during a police raid in Gaziantep’s Şehitkamil district, killing three police officers and injuring nine others as well as four Syrians last year.
During the hearing on Sept. 25, Giray read the testimony of secret witness, named “Primait,” in the Ankara case.
The judge said “Piramit” was quoted as saying that he knew 13 of the suspects in the case and had previously identified them through photographs. The secret witness was further quoted as saying that one of these suspects, Yunus Durmaz, was the so-called “Gaziantep emir” of the organization.
“When he was crossing from Syria, Durmaz used to come in disguise. He is the one who gave the order for the attack. Nothing would have been done without his knowledge. He was trained in Syria and then sent to Turkey. He walked around with explosives and weapons on his belt and he understood that if he was be captured by police he would detonate himself. He is the person responsible for attacks [by ISIL] in Turkey,” the witness was quoted as saying.
Regarding another suspect, named Erman Ekici, “Piramit” reportedly said he fought in Afghanistan and was recruited to ISIL by Cabel, while the suspect Talha Güneş received undergraduate education in a chemistry department and was responsible for making bombs and giving training on bomb making.
The secret witness was further quoted as saying that the 13 suspects he identified had previously received training in sports, religion, and military issues in Tel Abyad, which is located in the Raqqa governorate. The suspects later came to the southeastern province of Kilis’ Elbeyli district, where they stayed with a large group.
The Ankara bombing was the deadliest carried out in Turkey by the jihadist group, killing 103 people, including the two suicide bombers.
The attack was the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history, and occurred when two suicide bombers linked to ISIL targeted a large group of people outside the capital’s main train station on Oct. 10, 2015 during a gathering for a peace rally.