Turkey: Istanbul Bomber Was ISIS Member

He was a Turkish citizen and not on any wanted list, minister says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2016 12:07 AM CDT
Turkey: Istanbul Bomber Was ISIS Member
A man leaves carnations at Saturday's explosion site in Istanbul on Sunday.   (Emrah Gurel)

Turkey's interior minister has identified the suicide bomber who killed four foreign tourists in Istanbul as a militant with links to ISIS. Minister Efkan Ala says the bomber was Turkish citizen Mehmet Ozturk, who was born in 1992 in Gaziantep province, which borders Syria. Ala says Ozturk wasn't on any list of wanted suspects. Five other people were detained as part of the investigation, the AP reports. Saturday's explosion wounded dozens of others. Among the fatalities were two American-Israelis, another Israeli, and an Iranian. The attack targeted Istanbul's pedestrian Istiklal Street, which is lined with shops and cafes in an area that also has government offices and foreign missions.

"The identity of the terrorist who carried out this reprehensible attack has been determined" and "the findings obtained show that the terrorist is linked to the Daesh terror organization," the minister says, using an alternative acronym for ISIS. Istanbul remained tense a day after the bombing, with Turkish authorities postponing a high-profile soccer match between two major teams, citing an unspecified threat. Israel's national counterterrorism bureau upgraded the threat level in Turkey, issuing a travel advisory that recommends Israelis avoid visiting the country, though Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely says Israel doesn't believe the Istanbul bomber specifically targeted Israelis. (More Turkey stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.