Deadly Attack on U.S. Embassy in Turkey

A suicide bomber has killed one person and injured two in an explosion outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey. No Americans were wounded, and officials are not sure who is behind the incident though the British Consulate-General to Turkey said they suspected it was a “terrorist attack.” Groups who have been active in Turkey in the past include Islamists, anarchists, al Qaeda, and Kurdish separatists.

This is the first attack of this kind since 2008,when three people died in a firefight outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. 

According to Reuters, after the explosion, U.S. Ambassador Francois Ricciardone addressed reporters: “We are very sad of course that we lost one of our Turkish guards at the gate.” He then thanked the Turkish authorities for a prompt response.

The attack follows a small but violent protest outside the U.S. Air Base in Incirlik last week with the arrival of NATO troops. Turkey has asked for international intervention in neighboring Syria and is host to NATO soldiers from the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands who are operating a Patriot missile defense system along its border.

Considering this escalation in violence, do American troops in the region have adequate support from the U.S. government? Should U.S. citizens be concerned about the attack in Ankara, or is it something that, as Hillary Clinton said about Libya, doesn’t really matter?

  1. The Mugwump

    I’m not knowledgeable enough to speak to Turkey specifically, but I can offer some general thoughts.  Our policy toward the Islamic world should be to support the forces of modernity wherever they can offer a modicum of human rights (aka civilized behavior).  Benjamin Netanyahu is the only one who recognizes the current conflict for what it is.  We’re in a war between civilization and the forces of barbarism.   

  2. D.C. McAllister
    C
    ~Paules: I’m not knowledgeable enough to speak to Turkey specifically, but I can offer some general thoughts.  Our policy toward the Islamic world should be to support the forces of modernity wherever they can offer a modicum of human rights (aka civilized behavior).  Benjamin Netanyahu is the only one who recognizes the current conflict for what it is.  We’re in a war between civilization and the forces of barbarism.    · 0 minutes ago

    I’d be interested in hearing the Libertarians respond to this.

  3. Mollie Hemingway

    What do you make of this news … from today?

    Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was arrested in Ankara by Turkish security forces after Washington allegedly informed Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about his location, daily Milliyet reported today.

  4. Severely Ltd.

    Round up the usual suspects. That would be filmmakers, right?

  5. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: What do you make of this news … from today?

    Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was arrested in Ankara by Turkish security forces after Washington allegedly informed Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about his location, daily Milliyet reported today.

    9 minutes ago

    Interesting. Connect the dots.

  6. Robert E. Lee
    Denise McAllister:   British Consulate-General to Turkey said they suspected it was a “terrorist attack.”

    Ya think?

    Denise McAllister:  Considering this escalation in violence, do American troops in the region have adequate support from the U.S. government? 

    No.  Whether active, retired, or veteran, when the government tells the troops they have their back, the troops get an itchy feeling between their shoulder blades.

  7. The Mugwump
    Denise McAllister

    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: What do you make of this news … from today?

    Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was arrested in Ankara by Turkish security forces after Washington allegedly informed Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about his location, daily Milliyet reported today.

    9 minutes ago

    Interesting. Connect the dots. · 12 minutes ago

    I have my own theory about Osama bin Laden.  He was the minor son of a very wealthy father.  Osama lived in a gilded cage with everything money could buy except prestige.  If you follow his career during the Afghan-Soviet war, you see a man preoccupied with self-promotion (for which he was hated by the Taliban rank and file) as if the mujaheddin victory was due almost entirely to a small group of Arab volunteers.  He seems to have been a man who wanted desperately to be noticed.  I suspect his motivations were more about ego than piety.  

  8. Ross C

    Hillary and I don’t understand this post.

    AT THIS POINT, does it really matter what happened?

  9. Leslie Watkins

    I vote for a Levy–Berlinski podcast on this.

  10. Nick Stuart

    Ross & Leslie beat me to both of the points I was going to make.

  11. Peter Meza

    Paging Dr. Claire Berlinski.

  12. Trace

    I’m sorry the story did not make it clear — to whom should we be apologizing for this attack? 

  13. David Williamson
    ~Paules

    I have my own theory about Osama bin Laden. 

    Wait a minute – didn’t Mr Obama personally throw him off the back of an aircraft carrier?

    So it can’t possibly be al Qaeda, right, Mrs Clinton?

    Yeah, probably related to that Zero Dark Thirty movie, or something.

    This has the feel of the late 1990′s to it – wonder what happens next?

  14. doc molloy

    Reignites Benghazi as to what constitutes a terrorist attack:

    An armed crowd who attack and kill the ambassador and others and on the anniversary of 9/11..  or a lone suicide bomber?  

    Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Germany, said the bomber was believed to be a member of an illegal “left wing terrorist organisation”, without elaborating.

    No filmakers need apply..

  15. flownover
    Peter Meza: Paging Dr. Claire Berlinski. · 4 hours ago

    Indeed, we need to make sure that the Doctor is on the Riviera or ,at least, Anatolia.

  16. Zafar

    There are Turkish claims that the attacker was from a Leftist group

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/suicide-bomber-member-of-the-outlawed-leftist-group-dhkpc-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=40308&NewsCatID=341

    Though it seems surprising that they can tell so soon.

  17. flownover
    Zafar: There are Turkish claims that the attacker was from a Leftist group

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/suicide-bomber-member-of-the-outlawed-leftist-group-dhkpc-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=40308&NewsCatID=341

    Though it seems surprising that they can tell so soon. · 16 hours ago

    Why would it be surprising ? It’s not the US State Dept making the claim, they’re still busy trying to figure out whether to blame it on “Girls” or “Skyfall” .

    The Turks found one of the their colleagues, took him the back room and beat the tar out of him until he fessed up. That is the efficient way to do it, saves lives and stuff. 

    Not like some other people we know . 

  18. Zafar

    Good thing they didn’t want him to confess to being a Martian.  

    flownover

    The Turks found one of the their colleagues, took him the back room and beat the tar out of him until he fessed up. That is the efficient way to do it, saves lives and stuff. 

  19. Zafar

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/02/02/leftist_militant_group_dhkp_c_responsible_for_u_s_embassy_attack_in_turkey.html

    The outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, claimed responsibility early Saturday for the suicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Later a government official confirmed the information was accurate, citing DNA tests that showed Ecevit Sanli, a member of the group, was the bomber, reports Reuters….

    Coming on the heels of the attack in Benghazi, Libya, many immediately feared that the attack in Ankara was also the work of jihadists. “That the bomber appears to have ties to a relatively minor Marxist group, which was responsible for political violence in the 1970s, is likely to challenge assumptions about the nature of international terrorism and the risks to American interests abroad,” notes the New York Times.

    The DHKP-C is a stridently anti-American group that is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey. In its statement, the group condemned Turkey for supporting the Syrian rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s government and called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a “puppet” of the United States.