Security forces tipped off about Reyhanlı plot 3 days before attack: Prosecutors
ADANA – Doğan News Agency
People view the debris of the May 11 explosion sites that killed 52 in Reyhanlı, near Turkey's border with Syria. AP photoTurkish security forces received a tip that a terrorist attack was being planned in Reyhanlı three days before deadly bombings on May 11 that killed 52 and wounded more than a hundred, prosecutors said today.
“Three days before the explosions, on May 8, 2013, at 4 p.m., the Hatay Police Department received a tip that was sent to the delegated prosecutors’ office tasked under Article 10 of the law on the fight against terrorism. The prosecutor in charge gave all the necessary court orders and instructions/permits on May 9, 2013,” the Adana Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement.
Four suspects accused of carrying out the attack performed reconnaissance on May 9 at the site of the bombings, the statement added.
Syrian from Latakia accused of providing explosives
Prosecutors also identified the provider of the explosives as a Syrian citizen from Latakia, the port town known as the bastion of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the surname starting with the initial N.
According to the prosecutors, 300 kilograms of explosives procured by the Syrian suspect was transported via fishing boats to a fishermen’s shelter in Çevlik in Hatay’s Samandağ district before being moved to a storehouse were the cars used in the bombings were hidden. The cars were bought by two Turkish citizens and customized by a mechanic who made false bottoms in order to hide the explosives.
The statement also said only one of the suspects was a foreign citizen, while all the other suspects were Turkish. “As a result of the investigations, 12 people suspected with sufficient proof to be the mastermind and executor or accomplice [of the bombings] have been arrested, while another is in custody. Six suspects have been released while an arrest warrant has been issued for seven other suspects,” the statement said.
Following the bombings, Turkish authorities had publicly said the prime suspects of the attack were linked with the Syrian intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat.