The Washington Times on February 1, 2013, reported that the U.S. State Deparment said that the suicide bombing targeting the U.S. embassay in the Turkish capital of Ankara could have caused significantly more damage were it not for the tight security protocols in place at the facility. Excerpts below:
A lone suicide bomber, whom Turkish authorities have tied to a local left-wing extremist movement, died in the blast, which also claimed the life of a Turkish security guard paid by the U.S. to protect the embassy.
“The level of security protection at our facility in Ankara ensured that there were not significantly more deaths and injuries,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said of the attack.
Appearing on Television Friday evening, Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan said the bomber had ties to a homegrown political extremist group known as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).
The group has carried out attacks on Turkish political and security targets since the 1970s, and has long been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the U.S.
Mr. Erdogan said that investigators at the bomb site had found a marking on the bomber’s head, which “clarified” that he was connected to the DHKP/C.
The group was thought to have been largely dormant during recent years. It has, however, been on the State Department’s official list of foreign terrorist organizations since 1997.
Al Qaeda-linked extremists carried out a violent set of suicide bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2003. More than 50 people were killed in the those attacks, which targeted the British consulate, a British bank and two synagogues.
Turkey, meanwhile, is engaged in a protracted war against Kurdish separatist groups, who have claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks in the nation during recent years.