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Monday, March 21, 2016

Istanbul terrorist bomber said to have targeted Israeli group.

Istanbul terrorist bomber said to have targeted Israeli group. (TOI).

The suspected Islamic State bomber who killed three Israelis in Saturday’s bombing in Istanbul followed the tour group from their hotel to the restaurant, and waited outside for them before detonating his explosives, reports said Monday.

The reports, published in the Turkish media, appeared to contradict earlier assessments that the bombing didn’t deliberately target the Israeli tour group. The later reports, however, were unsourced and couldn’t be independently verified.

Turkish police on Sunday identified the bomber as Mehmet Ozturk, 23, an Islamic State member from Gaziantep province who spent two years in Syria before returning to Turkey illegally. 

The T24 news site reported that Ozturk followed the tour group from their hotel in the Besiktas neighborhood of Istanbul, located near Taksim Square, to the restaurant on Istiklal Avenue where they ate breakfast on Saturday morning. When the group exited, the bomber blew himself up, the report said.

Ozturk reportedly stayed at a hotel on Barbaros Boulevard in Besiktas the night before the attack and received assistance from an unknown person, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference Saturday evening that Israel was “trying to get intelligence on whether the terror attack was targeted against Israelis,” but the prevailing assessment in the days immediately following the bombing was that it was merely incidental that Israelis were at the epicenter of the blast.

We don’t have any confirmation that the attack targeted Israelis,” he told reporters. Hmmm......Who informed him that there was a Jewish group staying at that particular hotel? Read the full story here.

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