According to the report, Turkish police exposed the terror plot in February during a raid on two houses, where nearly 50 pounds of plastic explosives with detonation systems attached, as well as six laptop computers and other evidence were found.
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Twelve people were detained during the operation — two Chechens, two Azeris and eight Turks, NYT reported.
The newspaper quoted officials as saying the evidence was gathered during a raid on two terrorist cells, one in Istanbul and one in Corlu, a district of Tekirdag on the Sea of Marmara. Forensic analysis of the computers’ contents and other documents revealed preparations for bomb attacks on the embassy, the private Rahmi M. Koc Museum and a synagogue in the Balat district of Istanbul.
Scene of attack at US Embassy in Ankara (Archive photo: EPA)
After the police raid, the American Embassy issued a travel warning, but it said at the time that the Turkish National Police had not provided specific threat information about the targets, according to the report.
CNN-Turk reported that police in Tekirdag said they had been monitoring a man said to belong to al-Qaeda who arrived in the city two years ago, after receiving military training at the terrorist organization’s camps in Afghanistan. That surveillance led to the February raid, they said.
The American Embassy was the target of a suicide bomb attack in February that killed a Turkish security guard and severely injured a local resident. That attack was attributed to an extreme left-wing organization, not Islamic terrorists.
In 2008, three gunmen attacked security guards outside the American diplomatic mission in Istanbul in a shootout that left the assailants and three police officers dead.
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