Tunisian killed at airport was in Turkey for ISIL-linked son: Diplomats
TUNIS – Agence France-PresseA Tunisian killed in the June 28 Istanbul airport attack, blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was in Turkey to secure the release of his son detained for joining the jihadists, diplomats have said.
Although there has been no claim of responsibility, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım pointed the finger at ISIL for the attack, which killed at least 42 people and wounded 239.
One of them was a Tunisian identified as Fathi Bayoudh, a doctor who was reportedly in Turkey for several weeks in an attempt to repatriate his son with the help of diplomats.
Bayoudh’s son was accused of having joined ISIL in Syria, a Tunisian Foreign Ministry source was quoted as saying by Tunisia’s private Mosaique FM radio station.
A Defence Ministry source in Tunis said Bayoudh was at the Atatürk Airport to meet his wife when the triple suicide attack struck.
Contacted by AFP, the head of consular affairs at Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry, Faycal Ben Mustapha, confirmed that the Tunisian consulate in Istanbul had been in contact “with the Bayoudh family since December.”
“It was to do with their son. We don’t know exactly what he did, but he went to Iraq and then Syria and ended up in detention in Turkey,” Mustapha said.
A Defence Ministry spokesman said a Tunisian in Turkey on private business was killed in the June 28 attack.
ISIL has carried out a string of bomb attacks across Turkey since last year.
Tunisia has also been the victim of attacks claimed by ISIL, and it is thought that thousands of Tunisians have travelled to join jihadist organizations in Syria, Iraq, and neighboring Libya.