Al-Qaeda plotted attack on Turkish Parliament, report says

Suspected al-Qaeda militants who are accused of planning to attack the US Embassy in Ankara had also plotted to target Turkey’s Parliament and a number of churches, according to a report from the Taraf daily on Friday.

In July police carried out an operation targeting an al-Qaeda cell that had received orders from al-Qaeda administrators in Afghanistan. The police operation prevented an attack on the US Embassy. Police apprehended the suspected al-Qaeda members with 700 kilograms of explosives on July 14. Taraf, which claims to have seen the indictment against 11 suspects, reported on Friday that the militants were almost ready to attack the embassy when they were captured in July, just ahead of a visit to Turkey by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It says police also seized floor plans of Parliament, a list of churches, as well as names and home addresses of church staffers in Ankara. Some 1,500 pounds (700 kilograms) of chemicals were seized along with instructions for making bombs.

The indictment stated that documents found at the militants’ address had labeled Turkey a war zone (dar al-harb) and its statesmen were described as “renegades.” The state system was described as “evil.” One document stated that it is more beneficial to fight against Turkey than against the US or other Western countries.

Police seized documents in the house and found printed dialogues of Internet chats between the militants and senior organization leaders from Afghanistan. These documents advise: “Just stay calm during interrogations, if you ever get caught. Don’t ever accept the allegations. Don’t give any information regarding the organization.”

Militants were captured at a house in Ankara’s Sincan district, where militants had been trained on how to use Kalashnikov rifles, and recorded these trainings on DVDs. The police operation against the al-Qaeda militants first began when a family of an al-Qaeda militant called police and said their son had been kidnapped by the Turkish arm of al-Qaeda.

09 December 2011, Friday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL