ISTANBUL – A Turkish man detained as a suspected would-be suicide bomber in northern Turkey was actually wearing a burqa to disguise himself to meet a secret lover from a dating site, local media reported Sunday.
Locals in the Black Sea province of Ordu alerted police of a “would-be suicide bomber” on Saturday after noticing that a burqa-clad “woman” talking on the phone at a bus stop was wearing men’s shoes, Dogan news agency said.
A police team arrived at the scene and “unmasked” the man, who was dressed in a full-length, Islamic-style black robe with a niqab — the head covering worn by many Muslim women — covering his face. Authorities detained him for “inflicting fear and panic in the public,” Dogan reported.
The 33-year-old man, who is married with two children, told police that he had resorted to the burqa disguise in order to secretly meet a woman he had met on an online dating site for the first time.
Turkey is on high alert after a series of deadly attacks blamed on the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, including a massive twin suicide bombing at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10 that killed 102 people in the worst-ever terror attack in Turkey’s history.