Perpetrator of Istanbul bombing ‘always dressed in black’: Witnesses
The perpetrator of the bomb attack on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue that claimed the lives of six people and wounded several dozen more was “always well-groomed and made-up, but dressed in black,” people around the workshop she worked for have said.
“I was seeing that Syrian woman every day. She wasn’t making eye contact with anyone. She was drinking coffee, smoking and playing on the phone. Especially for the past week she had been constantly texting,” Mesut Karadağ, a tradesman who cooperates with the textile workshop, told daily Hürriyet.
“She didn’t look like a terrorist. She was well-groomed and made-up but always dressed in black.”
According to the examination of the records and the statements of the detainees, Ahlam Albashir made reconnaissance on İstiklal Avenue on three separate days, with a pirate taxi driven by a man and a member of the organization, with whom she had come from Syria before the attack, the daily said earlier.
Pretending to be a couple, the duo got a job in a textile workshop in Esenler, it added, suggesting that the person who delivered the bomb to Albashir continues to be sought.
“She has been here for four months; I’ve seen her several times. She was always smoking on the stairs and was always on her phone,” said E.Y., a worker in the workshop next door.
İsmail Kaşkuş, the owner of a restaurant nearby, also said that the woman comes to eat occasionally. “She sometimes showed up with a different guy. She was giving cash every time. She was wearing a lot of makeup.”
The special team established after the bombing caught her in Küçükçekmece district about 10 hours after the attack by inspecting 1,200 security cameras.
She was apprehended at the address alleged to have been identified through other suspects detained 10 hours after the attack.
“I saw the woman, but I did not understand what she said because I did not know her language. They had just arrived. There was a small child, he was quiet. Sometimes there were 20 people, sometimes there were two. They only came home to sleep at night,” Cengiz Karaburun, a resident of the neighborhood where she was captured after the attack.
Albashir first went to Esenler and then to Küçükçekmece after dropping the bomb, the daily reported.
The suspect reportedly stated in her interrogation that she was trained as a “special intelligence officer” by the PKK/YPG that she joined.
A large amount of foreign currency and gold were found in the house where the bomb disposal expert police searched for explosives. A loaded pistol and a box of bullets belonging to the woman were seized.
The camouflage pants and boots she was wearing at the time of the attack were also found in the house.
Istanbul police said 50 people were detained in total, specifying that the explosive used in the attack was TNT.
Finally, the police traced a man – taking another suspect, identified only by the initial B., who gave the bag full of bombs to Albashir, to Edirne.
“We assess that the order for the deadly terror attack came from Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria, where the PKK/YPG has its Syrian headquarters,” Interior Minister Soylu said earlier.
The minister told reporters that the terrorist’s organization had “given orders for the main suspect to be killed to avoid evidence being traced back to them.”
The suspects would have been smuggled to Greece if they had not been caught, Soylu also informed.