Wreckage from synagogue blast in Istanbul 2003 370.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Turkish police uncovered a plot linked to al-Qaida to bomb a synagogue
in Istanbul, the US embassy in Ankara and other targets, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
Twelve people were arrested during a raid on two houses in Istanbul and Corlu in February, according to the Times. Eight of them were Turks, two were Chechens and two were Azeris.
to reports, the Turkish police seized nearly 50 pounds (22.6 kilograms)
of plastic explosives with detonation systems, six laptops and other
Documents found on the computers, including photographs
and floor plans, revealed preparations for bomb attacks on a synagogue
in the Balat district of Istanbul, the US embassy and the Rahmi M. Koc
Turkish police said it was tracking an al-Qaida man that
arrived in the city of Tekirdag two years ago after receiving military
training in Afghanistan. The surveillance on him led to the February
In February, a Turkish leftist group bombed the US Embassy in Ankara
and caused the death of a Turkish security guard. The attacker blew
himself up inside US property, blowing the door off a side entrance and
sending smoke and debris flying into the street.
The most serious
bombings of this kind in Turkey occurred in November 2003, when car
bombs shattered two synagogues, killing 30 people and wounding 146.
Authorities said the attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida.
Reuters contributed to this report.