Turkey arrests al-Qaeda man linked to 2003 bombings of synagogues

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish media reports say a fugitive who was convicted in absentia for involvement in 2003 bomb attacks against two synagogues, a bank and the British Consulate in Istanbul and of membership in al-Qaeda has been arrested.

The state-run Anadolu Agency says the man, identified by his initials Z.C., was arrested Wednesday in a village in the central Turkish province of Cankiri, where he was working as an acting village imam.

The private DHA agency reports that he had escaped to Afghanistan while on trial for his role in the attack. He was later convicted of membership in the al-Qaeda network and sentenced to six years in prison.

The al-Qaeda attacks in Istanbul in November 2003 targeted the HSBC bank, two synagogues and the British Consulate, killing 57 people. In the case of the Bet Israel and Neve Shalom synagogues, the attacks involved two bomb-laden trucks that drove into the buildings and then detonated, killing 23 and wounding over 300.

— with AP

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