Hundreds of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees are making their way into Europe and the United States. Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIS member, had recently entered the country from Syria and registered as a refugee with Turkish immigration authorities in Istanbul just one week before the attack.
CNN reported that it was a strike at the heart of Turkey’s culture and its multibillion-dollar tourist industry.
The suicide bombing on Sultanahmet Square on Tuesday killed 10 people – all of them Germans, the German Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday. It was the deadliest attack on Germans abroad in more than 13 years.
Officials quickly blamed ISIS for the attack.
Seventeen people were wounded; 11 were still hospitalized at midday Wednesday, Turkey’s interior minister said.
Nine of those still in the hospital were German, one was Norwegian and the other was from Peru, according to Ala.
Few details have been released about the attacker. He was born in 1988, officials said. He came to Turkey from Syria, registering as a refugee. He was not being tracked by Turkish security.
Ala told journalists Wednesday that authorities had not considered the suspected bomber a security risk, according to Anadolu Agency.
He said the suspect had visited the Migration Administration in Zeytinburnu, where he was registered and fingerprinted.
Asked whether there had been an “intelligence weakness,” Ala replied, “Your assessment that he was fingerprinted and registered one week ago is correct. However, in terms of our current assessments, he was not among the people being searched or part of the target group, neither was he part of the target persons sent to us by other countries.”
Davutoglu, the prime minister, confirmed that the suspect was not being followed. But he said the bomber was quickly identified after the attack because of the ways in which Turkey registers the entry of every foreigner into the country. He also said four other people had been detained.
His assessment of who was to blame, however, was more mysterious.
“We have determined through the attacker’s entry to Turkey and his contacts that there may be active actors behind the scenes,” he said.
“An ISIS connection has been identified but ISIS is a pawn, an intermediary organization, a subcontractor. We are working to reveal the real actors behind this terror organization.”
A Turkish official, speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity, said Turkey — and the rest of the world — would never be safe until the situation in Syria is resolved.
“As long as there is a training ground for ISIS on the other side of our border we will continue to have this problem, not only Turkey but Europe and U.S.,” the official said. “Turkey remains committed to its calls for an ISIL-free zone, a region free of terrorism across its borders.” ISIL is another acronym for ISIS.
The official said Turkey should try to “drive ISIS into the desert. This isn’t a result of Turkish foreign policy; it’s about what’s happening in Syria.”
The Mirror reported that the family of the suicide bomber believed to have killed 10 tourists in the heart of Istanbul have spoken of the ‘shame’ they feel about his despicable act.
ISIS militants told Fadli’s family he had died during a clash with Kurd fighters before the devastating bomb attack.
“When we heard about the attack, we felt ashamed,” said the father Abdullatif Fadlı, who lives in Mumbuc district of Aleppo.
“Our son had never been to Turkey before the incident. We don’t understand how he went there or who convinced him to kill himself like this. We were shocked,” his father said.
The comments come from a statement to Turkish daily Yeni Şafak newspaper.
“We hope and believe that all the details of this incident will come to light, including the way the Daesh or Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists convince people to commit massacres,” said a relative of Fadli. He had lived in the Turkmen Amarna village of Aleppo province with his wife, who is of Armenian origin, for 15 years after returning from Saudi Arabia.
Fadli has relatives in Turkey.
The family and relatives of the bomber refused to be photographed due to security concerns, saying that some of them live in regions controlled by Daesh terrorists, while others live in the region controlled by the regime.
Fadli also has relatives, including a sister, in several provinces of Turkey, such as Istanbul, Bursa and Gaziantep.