Police warned prosecutor’s office before bomb attack in Turkey’s southeast: Report
DHA photoThe police headquarters in the southeastern province of Adıyaman warned the local prosecutor’s office about a possible attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), 74 days before a bomb attack targeting a rally of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the neighboring province of Diyarbakır on July 5, 2015, according to the investigation file into the attack.
The warning, sent on March 24, 2015, said missing ISIL suspects, including the militant who went on to carried out the attack on the HDP rally, Orhan Gönder, had gone to Syria and could present a threat if they returned to Turkey, Doğan News Agency reported on July 12.
The Adıyaman police’s documents on works regarding al-Qaeda and related groups were included in the investigation file on the attack on HDP rally, which left five people dead and scores wounded.
An investigation into al-Qaeda and groups linked to clashes in neighboring Syria and Iraq was launched in 2014, according to the secret report by Adıyaman’s anti-terror police.
According to the report, Diyarbakır bomber Orhan Gönder’s father, Mustafa Gönder, had gone to the Adıyaman anti-terror police headquarters on June 25, 2014 to tell officials that he suspected his son had become “a member of a cult or illegal religious organization.” He was detained upon his father’s statements to police but was released after his testimony was taken.
Gönder then went to Syria to join ISIL shortly after he was released. Several other families went to the police and told officials that Mehmet Taşar, Demet Taşar and Muhammet Zana Alkan had gone missing with Gönder around the same time. The missing people had left Turkey to join camps of radical groups and terrorist organizations in Syria, the police report read.
The police on March 24, 2015 said after investigating their telephone calls that the missing people were working together and had joined illegal groups. The police also stressed that the missing individuals could present a threat if they returned to Turkey.
After the attack on the HDP rally in Diyarbakır, it was determined that the attacker Gönder was already being sought for his connection to the “Dokumacılar,” an ISIL cell based in Adıyaman. Gönder was caught by police one day after the attack in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, from where he was planning to cross the border into Syria.
Another attack in the Suruç district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on July 20, 2015, was carried out by Abdurrahman Alagöz, who also joined ISIL and was sought in the same file as Gönder. Alagöz’s brother, Yunus Emre Alagöz, later staged the attack on a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, which left 109 people dead and scores wounded in the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history.