Turkey says terrorists planned to bomb US Embassy, synagogue
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Turkey says terrorists planned to bomb US Embassy, synagogue

Police arrested 12 al-Qaeda-linked operatives — 8 Turks among them — in February

Medical workers carry away a woman injured when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance to the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, in early February (photo credit: AP/Burhan Ozbilici)
Medical workers carry away a woman injured when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance to the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, in early February (photo credit: AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Al-Qaeda-linked operatives planned to bomb the US Embassy in Ankara, a synagogue in Istanbul and other sites, Turkish police said on Thursday.

Turkish officials uncovered the plot and arrested 12 people — two Chechens, two Azeris and eight Turks — in February.

The police seized 50 pounds of plastic explosives with detonation systems attached, as well as six laptops and other evidence during a raid on two terrorist cells in Istanbul and Corlu, reported The New York Times.

Forensic analysis of the gathered evidence revealed preparations for bomb attacks on the embassy, a synagogue in the Balat district of Istanbul and the private Rahmi M. Koc Museum, also in Istanbul. Photographs, floor plans and other information were found concerning those targets and the residences and offices of two well-known Turks, according to reports.

After the February raid, the US Embassy issued a travel warning for American citizens traveling to Turkey, but the embassy said at the time that the Turkish National Police had not provided specific information about potential targets.

In an apparently unrelated incident, the embassy in Ankara was targeted by a suicide bomber in February. That attack was said to have been carried out by an extreme-left wing organization, not Islamic terrorists.

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