Perpetrator of Istanbul terror attack arrested

Perpetrator of Istanbul terror attack arrested

Perpetrator of Istanbul terror attack arrested

17 suspects, including Ahlam Albashir, the perpetrator of a terror attack on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue, which claimed the lives of six people, were arrested early on Nov. 18. 

The police detained 51 more people found to be involved in the attack, who underwent health checks and were brought to the courthouse.

While two of the suspects were released after their statements at the police station, 49 people, including Albashir, were referred to the courthouse early on Nov. 17.

The suspects’ statements had been taken earlier by the 3rd and 4th Istanbul Criminal Court of Peace.

Also, three of the suspects were released on bail.

Albashir reportedly stated in her interrogation that she was trained as a “special intelligence officer” by the PKK/YPG that she joined.

“I met the YPG in Manbij in 2017. I met a man named Ahmed A., whom I learned to be a YPG member, and we were lovers. Then Ahmed went to Jarablus, and I went after him. The organization tried to draw me in and offered assignments. After a while, I lost track of Ahmed, but my relationship with the organization did not cease as they didn’t leave me,” Albashir said in her statement, daily Hürriyet reported.

According to the examination of the records and the statements of the detainees, Albashir made reconnaissance on İstiklal Avenue on three separate days with a pirate taxi driven by a man named Bilal Hassan 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.

Ferhat Habeş, the owner of the workshop, was also detained on the grounds that he had “ties to terrorism, making terrorist propaganda on his social media account, and hosting Albashir and Hassan in his house with the instruction he received from Kobani.”

She also said she got the action order from another PKK/YPG terrorist code-named Hacı. “He looked at the crowd and gave the order to detonate. I got up from the bench following the instruction and detonated the bomb.”

The PKK/YPG member, who works in the “intelligence unit” of the organization in the Manbij region in northern Syria, illegally crossed into Türkiye via Afrin and Idlib, after staying in Manbij for two months, according to the daily.

Albashir also admitted that one of those who assisted in the attack was another PKK member, code-named Hüsam. He was determined to have fled after the attack and was caught in Azez during an operation by the Turkish security units, bringing the number of detainees to 51.

Albashir was apprehended at the address alleged to have been identified through the other suspects within 10 hours following the attack.

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.