Possible al-Qaida link to Istanbul attack

July 10, 2008 at 10:36 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, July 10 (UPI) -- Turkish officials said Thursday they are looking at a possible al-Qaida-Kurdistan Workers' Party link regarding the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials said a white vehicle approached the U.S. Consulate Wednesday morning and opened fire on the guard post. One suspect fled the scene, though security guards killed three attackers. Three Turkish security officers also were killed in the attack.

Though the attack does not fit in with the typical methods employed by al-Qaida cells, Turkish officials are looking into possible ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

Turkish officials said activity in the region over the past eight months suggests al-Qaida is using PKK rebels as "subcontractors."

The al-Qaida organization is thought to be active in Istanbul and some of the central and eastern provinces. Turkish military operations in these areas resulted in the capture of nearly 100 al-Qaida militants, the report said.

The U.S. military has offered to share intelligence information with Turkey regarding terrorist activity in northern Iraq where the PKK operates, though Turkish officials said that intelligence included information about al-Qaida.

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