15 Injured in Suicide Bombing in Heart of Istanbul

 

I just checked the news and saw this. This is ten minutes from me; I walk through there every day. They’re concerned there’s a second device in the area.

Eyewitnesses claim that there were 2 perpetrators. One shot down by police before blast. Second managed to blast himself #Istanbul #Turkey4 minutes ago via TweetDeckBreaking: PKK spokesman says he knows nothing about bomb in #Istanbul’s #Taksim Sq – learned of it from CNN calling him to ask11 minutes ago via web judging from broken windows of hotels&other little shops&restaurants in the vicinity of #Taksim square explosion,the bomb was strongAttack was directed to the police buses parked at the center of the square. Suicide bomber fused the bomb in between these buses. #Turkey

Update: This doesn’t really require translation.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @judithlevy

    Claire, here’s Haaretz’s piece on the Istanbul bombing. I can’t find any real information yet (as of twenty minutes after you posted).

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    The reports are very confused so far. Very unconfirmed: two dead, body parts on the ground, a second suspect shot by police, and a manhunt ongoing for the suspect. They’re also saying the bomb was “aimed at police,” but this makes no sense to me–as anyone who has ever been there knows, the police there are thoroughly intermingled with the civilians; you couldn’t possibly know that someone was targeting the police just because they hit the police.

    For what it’s worth, the PKK announced very recently that it would stop targeting civilians. They were reportedly surprised when called by the news. And Turkey has been conducting a massive roundup of al-Qaeda suspects this week.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @River

    It’s very sad, and you have my condolences Claire. Fortunately these were not highly trained and effective bombers typical of al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. If they had been there’d be dozens of dead and many scores of injured. Two suicide bombers wearing vests with C-4 explosive can devastate a city block and everyone in it.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @CharlesMark

    Stay safe

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    River: It’s very sad, and you have my condolences Claire. Fortunately these were not highly trained and effective bombers typical of al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. If they had been there’d be dozens of dead and many scores of injured. Two suicide bombers wearing vests with C-4 explosive can devastate a city block and everyone in it. · Oct 31 at 4:00am

    Possibly. Initial and very unconfirmed reports suggest this was stronger than a typical PKK bomb, though. It’s already being received as wisdom that it was the PKK, especially since the ceasefire expired on Sep. 20. It’s also being rumored that major news stations aren’t reporting on it so as to deny the perpetrators psychological impact. The reporting does seem very, very scanty so far.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    Erdoğan just gave a speech that barely mentioned it. He’s in Mardin, at a dam construction site–and he quickly segued to a discussion of a dam project.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    Okay, I get it now–the bomb went off by the police busses, in a cordoned-off area. So yes, it probably was aimed at them. And yes, that does suggest the PKK. But there’s no way you can set off a bomb in Taksim without injuring an excellent cross-section of civilians, as indeed this did. (For those who have wondered why I don’t have a lot of sympathy with the PKK, here’s your answer. Even if it wasn’t them, their record is such that it’s absolutely justified to suspect them first.)

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @JohnH

    When was the last time the PKK took credit for something? And I mean anything: not just killing people, but delivering the mail, providing potable water, or opening daycare centers.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    They take credit now and again. If it was them, this would be their fourth attack on Taksim since 1995, so at this point, they don’t really need to take credit; they’ll be blamed for it anyway, and probably rightly so.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @KennedySmith

    Suicide bombers are, definitionally, not experts. So it’s luck of the draw whether they rather embarrassingly blow themselves up to no effect or take lots of people with them. Good Lord, Claire. This is happening every other month now. You’d be safer in Jerusalem. You wouldn’t have the Bosporus, of course.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @
    River: It’s very sad, and you have my condolences Claire. Fortunately these were not highly trained and effective bombers typical of al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. If they had been there’d be dozens of dead and many scores of injured. Two suicide bombers wearing vests with C-4 explosive can devastate a city block and everyone in it. · Oct 31 at 4:00am

    We can thank our lucky stars that our enemies are almost laughably incompetent. Shoe bombers tackled by air hostesses; underpants bombers who succeed only in charring their privates; Times Square truck bombs that don’t go off; the list goes on and on. And these are guys who actually went to Pakistan or Yemen for training.

    And then there’s the Taliban, who are estimated to put fewer than one in 10,000 rounds on target.

    They’re the Wylie Coyotes of terrorism.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Kennedy Smith: Suicide bombers are, definitionally, not experts. So it’s luck of the draw whether they rather embarrassingly blow themselves up to no effect or take lots of people with them. Good Lord, Claire. This is happening every other month now. You’d be safer in Jerusalem. You wouldn’t have the Bosporus, of course. · Oct 31 at 8:28am

    I’m not at all minimizing what happened today, and nor, I’m sure, are the people who were mutilated and maimed. But this is a city of some 20 million people. The odds of any one person, including me, becoming a victim of a terrorist attack are very tiny. And there’s pretty much nowhere in the world you can go now where there’s zero threat of terrorism. It seems there’s a risk, albeit a small one, just in being under the flight path of a UPS cargo plane.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill
    Kenneth They’re the Wylie Coyotes of terrorism.

    To be really good at killing you need real training and real practice. I’m not sure AQ is getting either. Practicing bomb detonation has a tendency to attract attention and there are no live ammo practice runs for the suicide type (and no do-overs, for that matter.)

    And sometimes I think the human will to survive just kicks in. Maybe more than a few of these guys stop and say to themselves, “What the heck am I doing?”

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @flownover
    EJHill

    Kenneth They’re the Wylie Coyotes of terrorism.

    To be really good at killing you need real training and real practice. I’m not sure AQ is getting either. Practicing bomb detonation has a tendency to attract attention and there are no live ammo practice runs for the suicide type (and no do-overs, for that matter.)

    And sometimes I think the human will to survive just kicks in. Maybe more than a few of these guys stop and say to themselves, “What the heck am I doing?” · Oct 31 at 9:27am

    Having a preacher (imam) teach you how to shoot is kind of like ….having a killer teach you how to pray.

    Having anyone teach you to how to kill yourself begs for some empiricism, always lacking in the lesson.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Now we hear that the toner bombs were assembled by AQ in the Arabian Peninsula’s “Master Bomb-Maker”, Ibrahim Asiri.

    That’s a very prestigious title for a guy whose previous feckless efforts include the failure to kill a Saudi Prince with a “butt bomb” inserted into Asiri’s own brother and the Christmas Day underpants bomb.

    Sounds like South Park.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @flownover

    Kenneth

    You know one thing for sure: we’re not getting the straight poop from the Fed on this. They are people right now at DOJ trying to work the spin on this “completely inadvertent attempt to kill us by alleged religionists from a Middle Eastern country”.

    And the NSC is drawing comparisons to his days at Fannie Mae and the time he said something mean to Barney Frank’s beau and got the same thing in his mail.

    Pretty sure the bomb guy was named Ibrahim Hankey Asiri .Well, Mr Hankey to you !

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Member
    @Sally

    I am retired defense industry. They constantly hammered security and low profile, especially in a foreign country. So I worry about you.

    Do you get any worthwhile assistance from the American Embassy?

    Y’all be safe.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @JohnH
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: …take credit now and again…If it was them…blamed for it anyway…probably rightly so.

    That’s some crackerjack detective work there. Yessir. Some real Türk iş, as they say.

    Fizzy memories of my detention by Turkish cops in Sivas in 1992. Plucked me right off a suburban street. In the car, they asked me what Americans thought of the Kurdish situation. “Fikrimiz yok,” I answered, accurately I do believe. We went to my hotel room. Rahat, they urged on me, and so I sat down and sure had some of that. They actually turned their backs on me as they searched my room. Gotcher savvy cop technique right here! Luckily they didn’t search me: might’ve found the $3000 in cash I was carrying!

    You know what? I’m just not intoxicated by the Middle East. Sensing goofballism, I do not reflexively exalt goofballs. The PKK is more Middle Eastern, even more Turkish, than it acknowledges. If it really is a force, which I doubt, then for all its Marxism, it must know deep down what a hick outfit it is. As must its notional enemies.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @RossC

    I just can’t imagine that blowing up at least one of your supporters and other mostly innocent civilians is the path to victory in Turkey or elsewhere.

    I can see how creating chaos and dissatisfaction helps some foks cause, but I think it can only help to a point. At some time there will have to be a straight up fight for the street and I don’t think you can win with suicide bombers.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    John H.

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: …take credit now and again…If it was them…blamed for it anyway…probably rightly so.

    That’s some crackerjack detective work there. Yessir. Some real Türk iş, as they say.

    Fizzy memories of my detention by Turkish cops in Sivas in 1992. Plucked me right off a suburban street. In the car, they asked me what Americans thought of the Kurdish situation. “Fikrimiz yok,” I answered, accurately I do believe.

    I wouldn’t say that sums up this American’s attitude toward them. Five years of this sort of thing does really put the Kurdish issue in the forefront of one’s worries.

    The forensic work on this is apt to be very good. I’m not intoxicated by every aspect of the Turkish bureaucracy myself, but from what I know, the very most competent people in the security forces will be working on this, and they’re high-level competent. They won’t be putting the amateurs on this job.

    The PKK is certainly a force–for utter evil. It’s too soon to say whether they were the authors of this, but definitely people aren’t crazy to suspect they were.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    Correction: The 2001 attack was DHKP/C, not PKK. It’s being reported that 16 members of the DHKP/C were arrested prior to the bombing today, but who knows what’s really going on. The DHKP/C are scum-of-the-earth Marxist-Leninists; as, for that matter, are the PKK. Here’s a guide, should anyone be interested, to the many varieties of scum-of-the-earth terrorists in Turkey. The takeaway point is that it’s true that not all Muslims are terrorists, and it’s even true that not all terrorists are Muslims, but it’s pretty much true that all terrorists are either Muslims or Marxists.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MarkLewis
    EJHill

    Kenneth They’re the Wylie Coyotes of terrorism.

    And sometimes I think the human will to survive just kicks in. Maybe more than a few of these guys stop and say to themselves, “What the heck am I doing?” · Oct 31 at 9:27am

    Hence the video before the attack – so that the shame of not detonating is larger than the fear of detonating.

    • #22

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