Police force looking into figures behind the suicide bomber

The investigation into the Ankara bombing which took place in the crowded Ulus shopping »»
The investigation into the Ankara bombing which took place in the crowded Ulus shopping district and resulted in six deaths and 91 injuries continues.

Ties that suicide bomber Güven Akkuş, who set off the explosion with plastic explosives planted on his person, may have had with illegal organizations are also being investigated by security forces.

Teams connected to the Ankara Police Directorate’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit were able to extract evidence and fingerprints from body parts at the scene of the explosion which led them to identify the suicide bomber as 28-year-old Akkuş.

Units working with the Ankara Counterterrorism and Intelligence directorates were able to uncover ties that Akkuş had had with the illegal Turkish Revolutionary Communist Union (TIKB), as well as records the young man had had with the police for involvement in the posting of illegal signs, and of police resistance.

Akkuş’s family relations in recent years had been almost nonexistent. Registered in Sivas’ Zara district, Akkuş had spent two years in prison in the mid-1990s and had lived with his older sister for some time after his release, though none of his family members knew anything about his whereabouts recently, according to statements made to the police.

Investigations by police are now focused on the possibility that Akkuş had relations with the illegal terror group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its affiliate Kongra-Gel. Police note that illegal leftist groups in Turkey are not generally involved in terror acts against civilians and that it is more in the tradition of groups like Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C) to use suicide bombers, although attacks like this are also generally aimed at security force officials, and not civilians. Police are also investigating whether or not the presence of a police vehicle on Anafartalar Boulevard -- where the Ankara explosion occurred -- might have caused the suicide bomber to panic earlier than planned. Authorities noted that around a minute before the explosion a head police superintendent had gotten out of his vehicle on the boulevard where the bomb went off but had crossed the street by the time the explosion actually occurred.

Authorities note that “cell” type and “patriotic front” type houses are being used as bases for actions like the one on Tuesday evening in Ankara. They assert that while some homes provide cover for people appearing to be families, others provide cover for “single people” who share the same world views.

Authorities finally noted that the suicide bomber involved is general accompanied throughout his or her actions from the preparation of the explosive to the timing of the event by a partner in order to ensure that the bomber does not back out of the act. For now authorities do not know who abetted Akkuş in his violent Tuesday-evening attack.

Repair work continues at Ulus Anafartalar mall  

On the third day after the explosion repairs continue at full speed in the Ankara shopping center. Ankara Municipality teams are continuing repair work in the area damaged an explosion that ripped through the capital’s Ulus district on Tuesday. Bus stops in the vicinity have already been repaired. The roof of the shopping mall hit by the blast remained intact after the attack. Security precautions were again high, with people working at the Ulus Anafartalar mall having to pass a police ID check.

Placards saying “We strongly condemn this terrorist act to our people and may the lives of our nation be spared” and “We hope that Allah blesses those who lost their lives in this vicious attack, grants speedy recovery to those who were injured and that Ulus tradesmen recover soon” were mounted on the shopping mall’s walls and windows, next to the Turkish flag, which hung from windows all over the mall and nearby buildings.

Tradesman Ramis Güldenoğlu, who suffered head and hand injuries, displayed his reaction to the event by saying, “I strongly condemn the terrorism.” Worker Handan Polat criticized the terrorists, saying, “If they have courage then they should not escape to the mountains.” Other merchants also condemned the act of terrorism. Yasin Sağlık Ankara 



Columnist: TODAY'S ZAMAN