Israel says Istanbul bomber did not target Israelis
JERUSALEM – The Associated PressIsrael’s counterterrorism bureau has said the suicide bomber who killed Israeli tourists in Istanbul last month did not specifically target Israelis but was taking aim at tourism in Turkey in general.
The bureau, connected to the Israeli prime minister’s office, recently issued a travel advisory for Turkey, warning Israeli citizens to leave as soon as possible and avoid traveling there.
The travel advisory remains in place despite the new security assessment.
The bureau said on April 24 that Israeli security agencies carried out a month-long investigation into the blast, which took place next to an Israeli culinary tour group and also killed an Iranian tourist.
Turkey claimed the bomber had links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The attack in Istanbul’s central and touristic İstiklal Avenue came six days after a suicide car bomb attack attributed to an offshoot group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which killed 37 people in the heart of the capital city of Ankara.
In January, a suicide bomber killed around 10 people, most of them German tourists, in Istanbul’s historic heart, an attack the government blamed on ISIL.