Turkey Says Marxists Behind Embassy Attack

White House calls it 'clearly an act of terror'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 1, 2013 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Turkish authorities say they know who's behind the bombing of the US embassy in Ankara—and it's not the usual suspects. They identified the suicide bomber as Ecevit Shanli, a member of a Marxist militant group called the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, the Hill reports. The group has no ties to Islamist militants, one former US ambassador to Turkey says. It has previously denounced the government as controlled by "western imperialists."

"If it was this group, they are the least likely terrorist organization in the entire Middle East to respond to the Israelis storming Syria or something happening in Egypt," the ex-ambassador says. "These guys are part of the European, Marxist, urban worldview … of guys with beards and coffee houses on the Rive Gauche in Paris." In a press briefing this afternoon, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the bombing was "by definition a terrorist attack," heading off a rerun of the controversy around the Benghazi consulate attack. The blast killed a guard, along with the bomber.

Map locates Ankara, Turkey, site of a U.S. embassy explosion.
Map locates Ankara, Turkey, site of a U.S. embassy explosion.   (Associated Press)
Medics and firefighters carry an injured woman to an ambulance after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 1, 2013.
Medics and firefighters carry an injured woman to an ambulance after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 1, 2013.   (AP Photo/IHA)
Elevated view of the side entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Elevated view of the side entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara.   (AP Photo)
Police officers gather near the side entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Police officers gather near the side entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara.   (AP Photo)
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