Wednesday, 29 June 2016

SDR OS Intelligence Brief: Terrorist attack in Istanbul



• In an attack involving three men with suicide vests and semi-automatic rifles at the Turkish airport Ataturk in Istanbul left at least 36 people dead and more than 140 wounded

• There were no immediate claims of responsibility, though The Turkish Prime Minister stated that the Islamic State was responsible.

• It sounds rather reasonable that the Islamic State is behind this attack. The reason for this is that it would mirror the Brussels’ airport attack of March 2016. This recent attack comes on the two-year anniversary of the ISIS caliphate declaration.

• Turkey is naturally already struggling with both Kurdish and Islamic State threats. And Turkey will most likely see more domestic attacks as it seeks to relax its disturbed foreign ties.


The June 28 terrorist attack at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, happened on one of the world’s busiest, Airports. Is the latest in a string of attacks in Turkey that have killed several hundreds and wounded many more. 

Strangely no group has yet claimed credit for the attack at the airport, which killed at least 36 people and wounded 140. 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the attack was the work of the so-called Islamic State, which has carried out several attacks in Turkey in the past year, as have various Kurdish terrorist groups.

Fact: A sign of how troubled Turkey’s domestic security has become is that there is no shortage of plausible suspects: it would equally unsurprising if the culprit was the Islamic State or Kurdish militants. And yet still, the attack is similar to the March 22 attack at the Brussels airport. (In which multiple attackers detonated explosives on the periphery of the security zone). 

Actual target: The lines at enhanced security are now prime targets for terrorists. Rapid action to counter the threat in Istanbul appears to have mitigated the loss of life, as police quickly opened fire on the attackers.

Turkey has become a prime target for the Islamic State in the last year.
Turkey has allso been mentioned several times in the group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq.
Turkish President Erdogan was featured on the cover of Dabiq issue number 11. The timing is also suggestive of, but does not naturally not prove, "any Islamic State involvement" . 

This attack like many others comes during the month of Ramadan, a time in which the Islamic State has specifically called for its supporters to carry out attacks wherever possible!

IS and the Militarily: The Islamic State (IS) is facing defeat across multiple battlefields. One of the key factors in the push by U.S. supported forces against the Islamic State in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. This does close off the 'Manbij Pocket’ from which nearly all Islamic State foreign fighters heading north depart. 

Retaking Manbij help´s to  stem, but not solve, the foreign fighter exodus from Syria into Turkey and beyond! Ergo is not a solution but a does hurt IS very much.

The Turkish airport attack as pointed out before came on the eve of the second anniversary of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate! Thats date and attack combination the cant be ignored. 

To much truth to be ignored: The June 29, 2014 announcement came as the group was at its peak, and was on the verge of becoming a true terror state in Syria and Iraq. 

However now after two years, the group is facing a large scale military defeat and is currently sliding back down the scale from proto-state to insurgency to terrorist group. 

Fact remains: Attacks such as the one in Istanbul will become more common as the group shifts its targets to match its capabilities. Unable to seize territory, the group will attack soft and symbolic targets in order to keep terror alive and to be seen as a serious player by the west and get a feather in the hat by islamists.

Conclusions divided: Some think that Turkey's proximity to Syria ensures that it will be a prime target for the foreseeable future, while others think the group will try to spread its terror as widely as possible, the more it looses ground in Syria and Iraq.