Israel: Istanbul Bomber Did Not Target Israelis

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Police forensic experts inspect the area after a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in central Istanbul, Turkey March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police forensic experts inspect the area after a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in central Istanbul, Turkey, March 19. (Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir)

Israel’s counterterrorism bureau says that the suicide bomber who killed three Israeli tourists in Istanbul last month did not specifically target Israelis but was taking aim at tourism in Turkey in general.

The bureau, connected to the prime minister’s office, recently issued a travel advisory for Turkey ahead of Pesach, warning Israeli citizens to leave as soon as possible and avoid traveling there. The travel advisory remains in place despite the new security assessment.

The bureau said Sunday that Israeli security agencies carried out a monthlong investigation into the blast, which took place next to an Israeli culinary tour group and also killed an Iranian tourist.

Turkey identified the bomber as having links to the Islamic State terror group.