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Turkey Captures Suspect in Suicide Bombings - 2003-12-19

Turkish police confirm that a key suspect in November's suicide bomb attacks against Jewish and British targets in Istanbul was detained this week as he was entering Turkey from a neighboring country. The suspect reportedly provided further evidence pointing to the al-Qaida terrorist network's involvement in the truck bombings of two synagogues, the British consulate and a British-owned bank.

Police declined to identify the suspect by name, but Turkish newspapers say he is Adnan Ersoz a leading member of an Islamic radical group called the Imam's Union. A police statement says that during his interrogation Mr. Ersoz said there is a structure in Turkey with links to an international terrorist organization.

Turkish media reports say he received trained at al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001. As with other ring leaders, he also claimed that he met with the al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.

According to the reports, Osama Bin Laden ordered the men to attack the shared U.S. and Turkish military base called Incirlik, in the southern city of Adana. The reports say, the men changed the plan because of tight security at the base, and made their attacks in Istanbul instead.