comments by Jerry Gordon
Six Jihadis engaged in a suicide attack on the heavily fortified US legation in Istanbul, three security guards and three assailants are killed in the shootout. Watch the news video on the attack, here. The media immediately jumps to the conclusion that it was an al Qaeda assault. Not really. It was pretty amateurish. Al Qaeda alleged perpetrated the bombings of the British legation and a Jewish synagogue a few years ago. That's a mistake, Why? Because several of the assailants were Turkish. Turkey is in the midst of a struggle between secularists of the Kemalist school with Islamists, including those in the ruling AK (Justice and Develoipment) party of President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan. Fundamentalist Mosques have spread through the country. Women are being intimidated to wear sharia compliant head scarves and appropriate attire. Honor killings have occurred in country communities where the AK party has large numbers of followers. Turks feel aggrieved about the EU not accepting this Muslim nation. They also feel that the US has supported the restive Kurdish minority across the frontier in northern Iraq where the Turkish military has periodically attacked the 'terrorist' PKK bases located there. So, my hunch is that what we saw in Istanbul was a terrorist attack by Turkish fundamentalists. Bystanders reported seeing the men with long hair and beards, a tipoff.
by Suzanne Fraser, AP, July 9, 2008
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Suspected al-Qaida militants armed with pistols and shotguns attacked a police guard post outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday, sparking a gunbattle that left three attackers and three officers dead.
Turkish and U.S. officials publicly labeled the shooting a terrorist attack and a police official in Istanbul told The Associated Press that authorities suspected al-Qaida was behind it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists on the investigation.
The U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Turkey's foreign ministry said security around all American diplomatic missions in Turkey had been increased.
Yavuz Erkut Yuksel, a bystander, told CNN-Turk television the attackers emerged from a vehicle and surprised the guard.
"One of them approached a policeman while hiding his gun and shot him in the head," Yuksel said.
Footage from a security camera at the site showed four armed and bearded men emerging from a car and killing a traffic policeman, then running toward a guard post some 50 yards away as other policemen fired back, the Dogan news agency reported.
The shootout caused panic and scattered people who were waiting in a line for visas. U.S. security personnel went inside the compound because they are not authorized to engage in armed action on Turkish soil, Dogan said.
A fourth policeman and the driver of a towing vehicle were wounded in the attack, Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said.
U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson said the consul general in Istanbul, Sharon Wiener, told him that that consulate staff were "safe and accounted for."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that she did not know who was responsible and for the attack and she would soon talk with Turkey's foreign minister. (Continue Reading This Article)