DNA test reveals identity of bomber in Turkey’s Ankara

Identity of suicide bomber in Turkey’s Ankara revealed as Abdulbaki Somer following DNA test results

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish people lay carnations as they visit the site of Ankara bomb attack at Merasim Street in Ankara, Turkey, on February 19, 2016.

The identity of the suicide bomber who killed 29 people in Turkey’s capital of Ankara was revealed on Tuesday as Abdulbaki Somer after DNA test results were released by the investigation into the deadly bombing.

The explosion in Ankara killed 29 people and wounded 81 others when the suicide bomber attacked a military convoy that was stopped at a traffic light on Feb. 17.

According to initial reports, the perpetrator of the attack, Somer, entered Turkey with fake Syrian identity documents showing his name as "Salih Muhammed Neccar" in 2014 which had earlier led to confusion about the bomber’s identity.

Using the fake Syrian identity Somer told officials that he had fled DAESH violence in Syria, reports prepared by Turkey’s counterterrorism and intelligence police indicated.

Confusion over bomber’s identity

Both President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu had previously announced that the attacker was Salih Muhammed Neccar who had connections with both the PKK and its Syrian wing YPG, as the initial inquiry showed.

Turkish police then launched a second comprehensive investigation after a PKK-affiliated terrorist group TAK claimed responsibility for the Ankara attack on Feb. 19, claiming that the bomber was 26-year old Abdulbaki Somer, a Turkish national born in the eastern city of Van.

Following the allegations, the father of the bomber - Musa Somer - was detained in Van and transferred to Ankara for further questioning within the scope of the investigation.

The officials took DNA samples from Somer’s father to test if they matched the DNA of Salih Muhammed Neccar, who had been identified as the bomber based on tests on fingerprints found at the scene of the attack.

The DNA test result showed a match between Neccar and Musa Somer, thus identifying the perpetrator as Abdulbaki Somer.

Attack carried out jointly by PKK and YPG

Speaking on condition of anonymity, Turkish security officials also said that the PKK terrorist organisation planned the attack, while the YPG, which is the militant wing of Syrian terror group PYD, provided assistance.

According to the security officials, PKK-affiliate Kutbettin O. - who had been working as a construction worker - contacted a car theft ring in Istanbul nearly one and half month ago after receiving instructions from the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU.

The vehicle used in the attack was hired by the car theft ring from a rental company based in western Turkey's Izmir Province.

The car was brought to Istanbul first befor being taken to southeastern Diyarbakir Province prior to the attack. However, officials say that the explosives were strapped to the car in Ankara.

The bomber worked as a construction worker in Ankara and stayed with two members of the terrorist organisation before the attack, officials added.

Turkey has detained 21 suspects so far across the country in connection with the attack.

Davutoglu says TAK used as ‘proxy’ to shield YPG

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu said that the TAK had claimed the attack as a "proxy" to shield the YPG while commenting on TAK’s claim of responsibility for the attack.

"TAK is not any separate terrorist organisation, it is a branch of the PKK as well as the YPG. The fact that TAK claimed responsibility for the attack doesn’t eliminate the YPG’s connection to that," he emphasised.

Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU.

Ankara considers the PYD to be the Syrian extension of the PKK terrorist organisation. The YPG is the militant wing of the PYD.

According to records provided by intelligence agencies, Syrian native Bahoz Erdal - a top level terrorist from the PKK - had earlier crossed into Syria along with nearly 200 PKK terrorists to join the PYD, after they left Qandil, the headquarters of the PKK in Iraq.

Syrian native Fehman Huseyin known by the code name "Bahoz Erdal" is a top level terrorist within the PKK and has served the organisation for 23 years. He is also one of the leaders of the PKK's TAK wing.

TRTWorld and agencies