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Terrorist attack culprit came to Istanbul 4 months ago, worked in textiles

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ISTANBUL, TURKIYE: Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (F-4th L) and Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag (F- 2nd L) attend the funeral ceremony of Adem Topkara who lost her life along with his wife Mukaddes Elif Topkara in deadly terror attack on Istanbul's popular Istiklal Avenue, Turkiye during a funeral held at Ayazaga Mosque, Istanbul on November 14, 2022. (Arife Karakum - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 15, 2022 - 02:17 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Ahlam Albashir, a Syrian woman who carried out Sunday’s deadly terrorist attack in central Istanbul, came to the city four months ago disguised as a textile worker, security sources said Monday.

Turkish security forces continue to work to shed light on the attack that killed at least six people, including children, and injured 81 others. The Turkish government said it was carried out by the YPG/PYD/PKK terrorist organization.

According to the security sources, Albashir was arrested early Monday in Istanbul’s Kucukcekmece District, where she was hiding.

She came to Istanbul with another suspect, identified only by the initial ‘B.,’ about four months ago and stayed in the working-class Esenler District along with two other Syrian nationals.

Albashir and the other suspect avoided digital communication in order not to get caught in a technical follow-up, and they worked at a textile workshop for four months, according to the sources.

During police interrogation following her arrest, Albashir admitted that she was trained as a special intelligence agent by the PKK/PYD/YPG and received instructions from Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria, where the terrorist organization has its Syrian headquarters, the sources added.

During the four months that she was in Istanbul disguised as a textile worker, she maintained contact with the terrorist organization through the other suspects she stayed with at the house.

On the day of the attack, Albashir along with the suspect B. came to Beyoglu District, where Istiklal Avenue is located, sources added.

Police teams continue to work to arrest the suspect B., who they determined had left Albashir before or just after the attack and fled the scene.

Meanwhile, during interrogations of the other suspects, a police source said the terrorist organization also ordered Albashir to be smuggled into Greece and to be executed there.

Turkish police are continuing their integration of Albashir and 45 other suspects who were arrested in connection with the terrorist attack.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the terror group’s Syrian offshoot.

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