Sunday, December 11, 2011

Turkey Uncovers Al-Qaida Plot To Bomb Churches

Suspected members of terror group al-Qaida faced additional charges Saturday, December 10, including planning to bomb churches in the capital Ankara, Turkish media reported.

About a dozen militants who are already accused of planning to attack the United States Embassy in the capital had also plotted to target churches and Turkey's parliament, said the influential Taraf daily, which claimed to have seen the indictments against 11 alleged militants.

It said police also seized plans how to target the parliament building and a list of churches as well as names and home addresses of church staffers in Ankara.

Besides chapels on Ankara’s British, French, Greek, Italian and Vatican embassy grounds, the capital city has several international churches and some Turkish Protestant congregations.

Those mentioned are among 14 suspected al-Qaida militants police detained in a series of raids across western Turkey in July. They included alleged al-Qaida members with 700 kilograms of explosives, officials said.

Turkish officials said at the time that the militants were almost ready to attack the embassy when they were captured in July, just ahead of a visit to the nation by U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The additional planned bombing of churches is the latest in a series of sometimes deadly violence against Christians in this heavily Islamic nation.

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