Syrian Linked to Al-Qaeda Describes Plan to Attack Israeli Cruise Ship in Turkey

(Washington Post) Karl Vick - Louai Sakka, arrested in Turkey last August, turned out to be a senior operative for al-Qaeda and intimately linked to major terrorist plots in Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq, where he had worked beside Abu Musab Zarqawi. Sakka told investigators he had planned to die steering a yacht laden with explosives into a cruise ship. Turkish prosecutors also describe him as the planner of the 2003 truck bombings that killed 57 people in Istanbul, financed with $160,000 in al-Qaeda funds. Iraqi insurgents say Louai al-Turki, as he was known there, played a prominent role in major attacks on U.S. bases and commanded insurgent forces in Fallujah. After the fall of Fallujah, a council of foreign fighters in Iraq authorized ten separate attacks on Israeli targets. Sakka, who learned bomb-making in Iraq, volunteered to strike the Israeli cruise ships that regularly call on Turkey's southern coast. Sakka spent days chatting with Israeli tourists and learned the precise arrival time and route of the ship he planned to attack.

2006-02-20 00:00:00

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