Terrorism & Insurgency

Foiled Islamic State mall attack in Turkey reflects expansion of jihadist target set while capabilities remain moderate

02 November 2017


On 28 October 2017, four individuals were arrested while parking two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in the car park of a shopping mall in Istanbul’s Bayrampaşa district.

According to the Turkish police, the individuals, who were identified as Austrian citizens of Turkish origin, were affiliated with the Islamic State. The attack itself was intended be multi-phased: IEDs that were previously smuggled inside the mall would be detonated to spur a panicked rush of civilians to the car park, whereupon the two VBIEDs would be detonated. In the final phase, the attackers would enter the crowd claiming to be trying to help those injured, and detonate their IED vests.

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