Istanbul Suicide Bomb

January 13, 2016 by  

Istanbul Suicide Bomb, On any given day, the heart of this city’s historic district, where the monuments of three empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – collide with a mix of majesty and tranquillity, is a bustling center of tourism, one of the world’s most visited places.

Mixing among German tourists on Tuesday morning, not far from the celebrated Blue Mosque, the authorities said, was an Islamic State operative from Syria in his late 20s, wearing a vest of explosives and determined to kill as many people as possible.

The attack left 10 tourists dead, all foreigners, and like other terrorist strikes in recent months in Paris; Beirut, Lebanon; Mali; Egypt; and Baghdad, it resonated far beyond Turkey as civilians were again cut down while going about their daily lives.

“Today, Istanbul was hit,” said Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in a statement. “Paris has been hit. Tunisia has been hit. Ankara has been hit before.”

The attack at a center of tourism here underscored what security and political analysts say is an inevitable and grim byproduct of the fight against t*rror*sm and the self-declared Islamic State: Attacks against so-called “soft targets,” while few in number, are likely to continue with chilling regularity.

Tuesday’s bombing came as the Islamic State faces increasing pressure from an international military coalition – of which Turkey and Germany are members – that has accelerated attacks on the group’s oil infrastructure and has recently driven it from one of its key cities in Iraq, the provincial capital Ramadi.

“It’s clear that they’ve diversified their strategy and are determined to target more soft targets outside their areas, that is, in Syria and Iraq,” said Daniel Benjamin, a scholar at Dartmouth and a former coordinator for countert*rror*sm at the State Department during President Obama’s first term.

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