Syrian Islamic State Militant Planned Attack on U.S. Consulate in Turkey

Turkish authorities have arrested and detained a suspected Islamic State militant for allegedly planning a suicide attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

A U.S. government official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the man is Syrian and Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency identified the suspect as Muhammed Raghil al-Hardani. The terrorist had reportedly crossed into Turkey “a while ago” and planned to attack the consulate—intelligence that was shared with U.S. officials.

Last week, the consulate had reportedly cancelled its services for a day, citing information about a possible security threat, according to NBC News. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara reportedly scaled back its services on Monday and Tuesday in light of a possible security threat.

This is not the first time the Instanbul-based U.S. Consulate has been targeted. In July of 2008, terrorists attacked the consulate and left three Turkish police officers and three of the attackers dead. This past August, two women who are believed to belong to a far-left anti-American terrorist organization called the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army Front (DHKP-C) opened fire on the same consulate. No one was inured in the attack.

Turkey also experienced two devastating Islamic State-linked terrorist attacks in July and October of this year, near a Syrian town which borders Turkey, which left over 130 people dead. The AP notes that the attacks were blamed on a Turkish ISIS cell.

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