One Airport Attacker Detonated Bomb After Being Shot

Turkey may now step up fight against ISIS
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2016 5:06 AM CDT
Updated Jun 29, 2016 6:28 AM CDT
Airport Blasts a 'Symbolic Attack Against the Heart of Turkey'
Passengers walk away from Istanbul's Ataturk airport after the blasts Tuesday night.   (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Three suicide bombers killed at least 36 people and injured more than 140 others in a Tuesday attack that could result in an escalation of the fight against ISIS. The blasts struck Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, which is the base of Turkish Airlines and a target certain to draw a strong response from the Turkish government. "This is a symbolic attack against the heart of Turkey," Soner Cagaptay from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy tells the Washington Post. He says that if the attack was indeed the work of ISIS, as authorities believe, it represents a major escalation and fighting the group will "now be unavoidable" for Turkey. In other coverage:

  • Reuters reports that officials say the three attackers arrived by taxi and blew themselves up in the airport's arrival hall. At least one opened fire in the departures hall. Security footage shows another being shot and falling to the ground before detonating his explosives.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack will be a "turning point" in the global fight against terrorism, the BBC reports. "The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world," he said.

  • Most of the victims are believed to be Turkish, but an Iranian and a Ukrainian were also killed, the AP reports.
  • The airport, Europe's third-busiest after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, reopened to flights early Wednesday.
  • ISIS hasn't claimed responsibility, but authorities are focusing on the group instead of Turkish militants, the New York Times reports. Some analysts suspect the attack is a response to a recent thaw in relations with Israel.
  • The Guardian reports that the attack will be a serious blow to Turkey's tourism industry, which was already struggling. China has now warned its citizens against travel there.
  • The attack was condemned by the US presidential candidates, the Washington Post reports. "All Americans stand united with the people of Turkey against this campaign of hatred and violence," Hillary Clinton said in a statement. Donald Trump told a rally in Ohio that "there’s something going on that’s really, really bad," and we must "do everything in our power to improve our security to keep America safe."
(More Turkey stories.)

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