Sensational Target

Turkey's extreme-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has claimed the responsibility of the suicide attack on the US embassy in Ankara on February 1, 2013. Right after the US Embassy attack, Front’s most popular website announced that “the attack was an act of self-sacrifice and the sole intent was to target US and its collaborator, the AKP Government.” Through their website they also claimed that they have the potential, dedication and willingness to punish traitors who are siding / cooperating with Imperial powers like the US, Israel and especially Turkish Security Forces, accusing the police as being a merciless tool for the AKP Government and serving the Gulen Congregation/Hizmet Movement, an Islamic Turkish influential group whose leader is living in the US. These comments can be read at,,, in both German and Turkish.

For More on Attacks on Soft Targets

For More on Suicide Missions (Bombers) as a Terrorist Tactic

Logistics of Embassy Attack

In the US Embassy Attack; DHKP-C militant Ecevit Şanlı (A.K.A Alisan) detonated a 6 kg TNT bomb embedded in a suicide vest, killing a security officer and wounding a journalist. The Ministry of Interior reports indicated that he was in disguise as a cargo-man, which enabled him to enter the main gate. He was also carrying a pistol and hand grenades as a backup, indicating that his primary objective was to clear the entrance guarded by three to four security guards with his pistol, then try to open a passage through a second security door with grenades and finally blow himself inside the visa offices compound.

For More on Suicide Bomber Vests

Video: 2013 DHKP-C takes credit for US Embassy attack.

Previous Record of Ecevit Şanlı

According to police records, Şanli was a well-known figure for DHKP-C, who was recruited in Istanbul, trained in Greece and participated in several attacks from 1995 to 1997 against police posts and governmental buildings. He was arrested after his deliberate attack on the Istanbul Harbiye Officers’ Club building with LAW rockets in 1997 and sentenced to 25 years. He served time for some 4 years and released in 2001 with a presidential amnesty due to the Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, a disease caused by a long- term hunger strike he performed during his time in jail.

For More on Commonly Used Rockets and Missiles

You must be logged in to access the rest of this content.

Login form

TRAC is a unique, comprehensive resource for the study of political violence of all kinds.
Already a member? Login here.

Table of Contents

About the Contributor

Coskun Unal

Coskun Unal is a retired Turkish Army Colonel. He joined the Turkish Special Forces as an Engineers' Lieutenant in 1992 and worked for Turkish Army Special Operations Command for 15 years,...