Balkans: February 26, 2004


Turkey indicted 69 alleged Al Qaeda members for participating in or facilitating terror bomb attacks in Istanbul in November 2003. Two Synagogues were bombed on November 15. The HSBC Bank and the British consulate in Istanbul were attacked on November 20. Altogether, 63 were killed in the attacks and over 700 people were wounded. The prosecutors indictment said that the terrorists also intended to attack the big NATO airbase at Incirlik, Turkey, and an Israeli passenger ship docked at the Turkish port of Alanya. Israeli tourists do visit southern Turkeys resort areas. Turkey and Cyprus are the only two local stops available to Israeli vacationers. Apparently the security ring around Incirlik (and most of the security is provided by Turkish forces) stopped that attack. The terror group then went looking for softer targets. That meant urban targets in Istanbul.




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