Sultanahmet suicide bomber identified as Syrian ‘asylum seeker’

Sultanahmet suicide bomber identified as Syrian ‘asylum seeker’

Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ANKARA
Sultanahmet suicide bomber identified as Syrian ‘asylum seeker’ The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bomber who killed 10 tourists by blowing himself up in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet Square has been identified as a Syrian citizen born in Saudi Arabia who recently appealed to a district directorate of migration management for asylum in Turkey. 

The bomber, identified as 28-year-old Nabil Fadli, applied for asylum at the Zeytinburnu Migration Management Directorate in the Istanbul district on Jan. 5, security sources said. 

Interior Minister Efkan Ala confirmed that the man’s fingerprints were on record with the Turkish authorities. 

“Your assessment that his fingerprints were taken and there is a record of him is correct. But he was not on the wanted individuals list. And neither was he on the target individuals list sent to us by other countries,” Ala said alongside his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, on Jan. 13. 

Turkish officials are investigating the details about the bomber on the supposition that he might have given a false name to the migration office. 

Fadli was provided a biometric identity after his fingerprints and picture were taken by the migration center. In his interview, Fadli told migration officials that he fled the war in Syria and wanted to enter Europe. He said he would stay in an apartment in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, but he later moved to a hotel in Kadırga.

The man arrived at the center alongside four other men and remained at his declared address for a few days. The office gave identity cards to the four other men as well.

Fadli was among the Syrians migrants who were given “temporary protection” during their stay in Turkey.

Syrians who are given “temporary protection” are permitted to receive services such as residence permits, health, education and other social services.

Fadli’s identity was uncovered after crime scene investigators found his fingertips at the site of the explosion. 

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Jan. 12 that the bomber had been identified from body parts at the scene, was born in 1988, and was thought to have been living in Syria, from where he was believed to have recently entered Turkey. 

Gerhard Günther Höppner, Steffen Höppner, Rudolf Krollman, Hiltrud Krollman, Karin Erika Franke-Dütz, Rüdiger Karl Faber, Marianne Faber, Gernot Eike Mildner, Adolf Jurgen Glorius and Rudiger Becker were all killed in Fadli’s attack.