Leftist Group Responsible for Embassy Attack in Turkey

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 2 2013 2:01 PM

Leftist Militant Group Responsible for U.S. Embassy Attack in Turkey

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A flag flies at half-staff above the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Saturday

Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

The outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, claimed responsibility early Saturday for the suicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Later a government official confirmed the information was accurate, citing DNA tests that showed Ecevit Sanli, a member of the group, was the bomber, reports Reuters. The attack on Friday killed the bomber and a Turkish guard and also seriously wounded a television journalist, notes the Associated Press.

Coming on the heels of the attack in Benghazi, Libya, many immediately feared that the attack in Ankara was also the work of jihadists. “That the bomber appears to have ties to a relatively minor Marxist group, which was responsible for political violence in the 1970s, is likely to challenge assumptions about the nature of international terrorism and the risks to American interests abroad,” notes the New York Times.

The DHKP-C is a stridently anti-American group that is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey. In its statement, the group condemned Turkey for supporting the Syrian rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s government and called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a "puppet" of the United States.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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