Istanbul has been on a high security alert for months after three deadly attacks in the city this year blamed on Islamic State jihadis and the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a radical offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK). Less than a month ago a car suicide bomber killed 12 people and wounded several others in the central Istanbul district of Vezneciler.
Globally, terror attacks on the ‘soft’ target of airports are common, and increasingly so. Below is a list, not comprehensive, of the major attacks on airports over the past five years.
June 26, 2016 - Three suspected Islamic State group suicide bombers targeted the international terminal of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing at least 36 people and wounding many others, Turkish officials said.
June 12, 2016 - An explosion at a check-in-area of Shanghai’s main international airport injures four people. The blast at Pudong International Airport, China’s second-busiest, was carried out using fireworks stuffed inside empty beer bottles.
March 22, 2016 - 16 people are killed in two suicide bombings as bombs ripped through check-in counters at Brussels Airport. The Islamic State group claims responsibility for the attack. A subsequent explosion at a Brussels subway station killed 16 more people.
March 7 2016 - A bomb explodes in a piece of luggage at an airport in a central Somali town, wounding three people. Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claim responsibility for the blast.
December 28, 2015 - A suicide car bomb attack killed at least one civilian near the eastern entrance of the Kabul international airport. Another 13 civilians were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 21, 2015 - A machete-wielding man attacks TSA officers at New Orleans’ international airport and is shot and killed. Authorities later said he was carrying a bag loaded with Molotov cocktails. One of the TSA officers was slightly injured.
July 18, 2012 - A bomb explodes on a bus carrying Israeli tourists at the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing five of the tourists, the Bulgarian bus driver and the suicide bomber. Another 35 people are hurt. In 2014, Bulgaria’s interior minister says he is convinced the Shiite militant group Hezbollah was behind the bus bombing.
February 27, 2012 - Suicide car bomber struck at the gates of Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan, killing nine people. The Taliban said the attack on the airport, which serves both civilian and international military aircraft, was revenge for the burning of Muslim holy books at an American military base.
January 24, 2011 - Suicide bomber blew himself up in the international arrivals area of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, killing 37 people and wounded 180 others and was claimed by Chechen rebels. Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee later identified the suicide bomber as a 20-year-old from the North Caucasus region.
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