October 15, 2015 | Quote

Turkey’s Worst Terror Attack Ever ‘Was a Disaster Waiting to Happen’

Two suicide bombers who killed over 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara last weekend — the worst terror attack ever on Turkish soil — were on the radar of security officials' radar long before they carried out their attack. 

The terrorists were on a list of 21 suspected would-be suicide bombers, Turkish media has reported.

One of them, Yunus Emre Alagoz, was the older brother of the man who killed 32 activists in Suruc in late July.

And over two years ago, their father described to the Turkish daily newspaper Radikal how he feared his sons had been radicalized in Syria.

Both bombers appear to have been linked to an ISIS cell in Adiyaman, though the jihadist group has not publicly taken responsibility for the attack. A third man, Orhan Gonder, knew the Alagoz brothers and may have traveled to Syria with them several times.


“This was a disaster waiting to happen,” Aykan Erdemir, a nonresident fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former member of Turkish parliament told BI by email.

“It is appalling how they missed these guys.”

“It is either a case of an 'epic failure' for Turkish security forces, or some in the security forces have turned a blind eye to the jihadists,” Erdemir said.

“It's a dangerous game they have always been playing,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told BI in August.

“Because these individuals are [Islamic State], they cannot be convicted unless lawyers can prove that they committed terrorism inside Turkey,” Schanzer noted to BI in August.

“These people could be watched or followed by the police after they are let go, but they are free,” he added.


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