Turkey al-Qaeda leader said killed in Iraq

Wext: Monday, 13.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST


11. Sep. 2004 ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish television broadcast a video Friday suggesting that the suspected leader of a Turkish al-Qaeda cell blamed for suicide bombings in Istanbul has been killed in Iraq.

The video showed a body of a bearded man with a bloody face said to be that of Habib Akdas. A man who claimed to be a Turkish militant was heard in the video saying that Akdas was killed in a bombing raid this week in Iraq's Al-Anbar region.

The video, broadcast by Turkish television channels CNN-Turk and NTV, showed the body of a bearded man with a bloody face. The tape was obtained by a Turkish news agency, NTV said.

Akdas is suspected of leading the al-Qaeda cell that carried out suicide attacks in November against two synagogues, a London-based bank and the British Consulate in Istanbul that killed more than 60 people. Turkish authorities have said that Akdas is believed to have fled to Iraq around the time of the attacks.

Turkish media has suggested that Akdas, believed to be in his 30s, may have been involved in the kidnapping of several Turkish workers in Iraq in recent months.

It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the video and the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it could not immediately comment on the report.

Prosecutors say Akdas and two alleged members of his cell met on several occasions with Abu Hafs al-Masri, a former top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden.

Al-Masri is believed to have arranged for Akdas and another militant to meet with bin Laden in 2001 in Afghanistan, where he received military and explosives training.


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