US Embassy in Turkey warns of terror threat against Americans
In a security alert issued Friday, the US Embassy in Turkey warned of a terror threat toward Americans in Istanbul and across the country.
“The U.S. Mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” read the statement from the American embassy in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.
The statement urged US citizens to avoid crowds, keep a low profile and stay alert in locations frequented by Americans and other foreigners, including large office buildings or shopping malls. Consular services at US facilities across Turkey are temporarily suspended.
Authorities have blamed the Islamic State for a number of terror attacks on Turkish soil in recent years, including twin bombings near Ankara’s main train station that killed more than 100 people in October 2015. In March 2016, a suspected IS suicide bombing killed four people, include two Americans, in Istanbul’s popular shopping district.
The Kurdistan Workers Party has also waged a decades-long insurgency in the country’s southeast and is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
In 2013, an outlawed leftist group known as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front took credit for a suicide bombing at the US Embassy in Ankara that killed a Turkish security guard and wounded several others.