A suspected Syrian al-Qaida militant appeared before a Turkish court Thursday to face charges, and shouted to journalists from a courthouse window that he was planning to attack Israeli cruise ships on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
“I have no regrets. I was going to attack Israeli ships. If they come, my friends will attack them,” the man shouted. The semiofficial Anatolia news agency identified him only the initials L.S.
The man also shouted “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before officials pulled him back and closed the window. He spoke Turkish with an Arabic accent.
Another Syrian, identified as Hamed Obysi, whom Turkish reports said was an al-Qaida courier, was charged Wednesday with membership in the terror organization.
Five cruise ships carrying some 5,000 Israeli tourists have been diverted from Turkish ports to Cyprus in recent days following intelligence reports that a terror attack was imminent.