“ Intelligence reports say the attack was planned by Miraç Ural in Latakia, a Syrian town, who is the leader of a THKP/C-related group”

Police intelligence tipped security units on Reyhanlı attack

15 May 2013 /BAYRAM KAYA, ANKARA – Zaman – It has emerged that the intelligence department of the Turkish police force on May 9 sent intelligence regarding the fatal attack in Hatay’s Reyhanlı district last Saturday to 13 security units, including Hatay’s gendarmerie command and the regional National Intelligence Organization (MİT) branch.

This new information comes one day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered an investigation into whether there was a security or intelligence flaw in the Reyhanlı attack that killed 51 people. Intelligence regarding the attackers also indicated that the assailants originally planned to attack a shopping mall in Ankara. A notice was sent by the National Police Department’s Intelligence Department to Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, the General Staff, the Foreign and Interior Affairs and Justice ministries, MİT and the Gendarmerie General Command on May 9 regarding plans for an attack in the Reyhanlı area. The intelligence came from a tipster inside the illegal terrorist organization Turkish Peoples Liberation Party/Front (THKP/C), who said a person named T.D. was going to bring the explosives to be used in the attack to the Yayladağ border gate, where Hatay resident N.E. was going to take delivery. Later, a car mechanic, M.G., was going to drive the explosives to the capital for the attack on Friday. According to police intelligence, M.G. drove around in circles in Ankara on May 4 and May 5 until noon, and could not detonate the explosives due to high security measures taken by the Ankara Police Department. On May 5, he drove back to Hatay in the afternoon.

The suspects detained after the Reyhanlı attack are three Syrians, but the police says four others, N.E., Y.N., T.D. and M.G., aided and abetted the attackers. They have also established that the explosives were brought in by T.D. through Yayladağ, and delivered to M.G as stated earlier by the tipster.

The tipster said the attackers planned to blow up the explosives either at a busy shopping mall in Ankara, or in front of the Kocatepe Mosque after the Friday mosque, when it is most crowded. Intelligence reports say the attack was planned by Miraç Ural in Latakia, a Syrian town, who is the leader of a THKP/C-related group. However, there was also another claim on Wednesday put forward by Hande Fırat, the Ankara representative of CNNTürk. Fırat claimed that MİT had had intelligence about the attack, and given the information to the relevant agencies. Prime Minister Erdoğan also said that the Reyhanlı attack was not caused by a flaw stemming from MİT. Erdoğan has ordered the Prime Ministry’s Inspection Board as well as the Inspection Board of the Interior Ministry to investigate any potential intelligence weaknesses in the attack. The same columnist also said there might have been a communication gap in intelligence, but said the nature of this failure to communicate remains unknown.