Outlawed Turkish Group Claims Responsibility for Ankara Attack

According to reports in Hurriyet, the Turkish daily newspaper, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a radical Marxist group that is outlawed in Turkey claimed responsibility on Saturday for the terror attack at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Friday, February 1.

The leftist group justified the attack as retaliation for American policy in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya in a statement published on its website, according to public broadcaster TRT. Their web site also stated that the US is the “murderer of the peoples of the world.”

A security guard was killed in the blast which rocked the embassy in Ankara on Friday afternoon. The suicide bomber was also killed. One person was wounded. The group said its “warrior” had carried out an act of “self-sacrifice.” Turkish news organizations say authorities have detained three people in connection with the attack. The news reports say the three were detained by police during operations in Ankara and Istanbul.

On Friday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed reports claiming the attacker was a 30-year-old member of DHKP/C. The suspect, identified as Ecevit Sanlı, has previously spent time in prison, according to reports. The radical group identified the bomber and included a photo of him brandishing weapons.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency says the suicide bomber had entered Turkey illegally. The news agency reported the interior ministry said the bomber used a fake identity. A reporter for VOA’s Turkish service said the guard was killed near an X-ray machine at an embassy checkpoint.

“The suicide bomber exploded the bomb right after crossing the personnel entry]and died in the explosion. A birth mark on his head proves his identity, but DNA tests will be carried out to make sure. It is clear that he is a member of DHKP/C. He has perpetrated such attacks before,” Erdogan said, during a live TV interview on private broadcaster Haberturk.

The Ankara Governor’s Office also confirmed that the suicide bomber was Sanlı, who had attacked an Istanbul military guesthouse in 1997. The attacker has been identified by his family to the authorities and a DNA test has been carried out, reported Hurriyet.

The suspect used six kilos of TNT and an electronic detonator, according to authorities. He also detonated a grenade during the attack, authorities said.

Condemning Friday’s suicide bombing, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that, “A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is by definition an act of terror. It is a terrorist attack.”

He added that the United States would work closely with Turkish authorities “to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also condemned the terror attack in a letter of condolences he sent to President Barack Obama on Friday.

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious terrorist attack against the U.S. Embassy in Ankara,” Netanyahu wrote. “Such acts of wanton violence remind us of the dangers faced by those who courageously represent us abroad and of the threats which those who despise freedom continue to pose to those who love liberty and life.”

“Our hearts are with you, with bereaved family members, and with the American people,” wrote Netanyahu.

The attack is the second on U.S. diplomatic offices in Turkey in five years. In 2008, three gunmen and three policemen were killed in an attack outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul.

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