Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Turkish embassy bomber had been living freely in Germany

The case of the suicide bomber who killed one and injured three in Ankara earlier this month is straining German-Turkish relations. German investigators had been monitoring the radical leftist for years
It was a routine call that took a patrol from Berlin's 52nd police division to the Hallesches Tor subway station on Sept. 10, 2011. A man had been caught trying to ride the subway without a ticket, and the officers were needed to check his identity. The delinquent was let go after he identified himself as Ecevit Şanlı, born in Turkey in 1973. The incident was documented as a minor offence
On Feb. 1, Ecevit Şanlı blew himself up in front of the United States Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard and seriously injuring three other individuals. German authorities had been well aware that the suicide bomber was a political hothead, and that he had been staying in Germany until a few months before the bombing

Ecevit Şanlı, Turkish suicide bomber

This helps explain the brusque response from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdopig and other European Union countries to what appeared to be a lax approach to counterterrorism. "Terrorists who commit the bloodiest murders in Turkey" were being allowed to travel freely in Europe, Erdopig ranted. From Ankara's perspective, German law enforcement is not proceeding forcefully enough against suspects like Ecevit Şanlı, who was subject to a Turkish arrest warrant. The pro-government Turkish newspaper Zaman accused Germany of being a "central accomplice" to terrorism
German authorities had undeniably been aware for some time of the man who would later commit the Ankara suicide bombing. In April 2011, the German federal prosecutor's office even launched a covert investigation against Şanlı on suspicion of "membership in a foreign terrorist organization." At the time, the Germans believed that the then 38-year-old was an official with the DHKP-C, a left-wing extremist terrorist organization that uses Germany as a refuge in its armed struggle against the Turkish state
News article here.