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45 al-Qaeda members detained in Istanbul over terror plot

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish security forces have arrested 45 people suspected of being members of an al-Qaeda terror cell.

According to authorities, the group was planning to carry out attacks, though the targets or the form of the attacks was not revealed, RIA Novosti reports.

Bomb attacks shocked Istanbul November 15, 2003 and November 20, 2003. 57 people died in the attacks, and 700 were wounded.

Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for both attacks. Some captured suspects said that Osama bin Laden himself ordered the attacks, but had wanted to hit a U.S. military base in Turkey. Al-Qaeda was reportedly disappointed that so many Muslims had died in the bombings.

Turkey charged 74 people with involvement in the bombings, including Syrians Loai al-Saqa and Hamid Obysi, and a Turk, Harun Ilhan. Al-Saqa and Ilhan were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
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