Suicide bomber who attacked Istanbul police was married to Norwegian ISIL jihadist
Toygun Atilla ISTANBULThe woman from Russia’s Daghestan Republic who allegedly executed a suicide bombing attack in central Istanbul on Jan. 6 was the wife of a Norwegian extremist of Chechen origin, with whom she spent three months in Istanbul and passed the Syrian border.
After Turkish media reported the assailant’s identity as Diana Ramazova, a Russian-language news website, Kavkazpress, reported that she was a Russian citizen from the Republic of Daghestan, who was “radicalized by the Wahhabi ideology.”
Ramazova was the widow of Abu Aluevitsj Edelbijev, a Norwegian citizen of Chechen origin, who she had met online and married in 2014 in an Islamic religious ceremony, though it is not known where the ceremony was conducted. Edelbijev died in Syria in December 2014 fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The couple spent three months in Istanbul in 2014. Ramazova entered Turkey from Russia with a tourist visa in May 2014, while no entrance logs for Edelbijev have been found, raising the suspicion that he entered the country illegally.
It is not known whether the couple spent the three months in Istanbul on a honeymoon or if they were participating in ISIL activities and meeting with fellow extremists while in the city.
According to Turkish and Norwegian intelligence sources, Ramazova and Edelbijev traveled to Syria in July 2014, took the names “Sümeyra” and “İdris,” respectively, and fought for ISIL.
Ramazova illegally reentered Turkey on Dec. 26, 2014, through the southeastern province of Gaziantep on the border with Syria, after Edelbijev was killed.
She then allegedly proceeded to blow herself up on Jan. 6 at the Tourism Police Station in Sultanahment, one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist districts, killing one policeman, Kenan Kumaş. It is not yet known where she obtained the grenades she used for the explosion.
Before the suicide bomber’s identity was revealed by the authorities, the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) claimed the attack.
However, the family of the alleged DHKP/C bomber, identified as Elif Sultan Kalsen, said the body at the morgue did not belong to their daughter.