The Corner

Israeli Intelligence Report: Erdogan Backed Flotilla Radicals

From the Jerusalem Post [thanks to Andrew Bostom]:

A report released this week by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) said new details have emerged which show how approximately 40 operatives from the Turkish Islamist IHH organization carefully prepared a violent ambush on navy commandos last week on board the Mavi Maramara ship, and acted with the full backing of the Turkish government.

The IHH operatives were armed with knives, axes and other weapons, communicated with one another using walkie talkies, set up a control room onboard the ship, and maintained close ties with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the report said. In addition, the Mavi Maramara ship was purchased by the IHH from a major shipping company owned by the Istanbul Municipality, which is run by the ruling AKP party, it has emerged.

The ITIC said its report was based on an initial analysis of statements taken from passengers onboard Mavi Marmara after it was towed to the port of Ashdod last week, as well as findings from computers seized by the IDF from IHH members.

“The operatives, who acted according to a clearly-defined internal hierarchy, boarded the ship in the port of Istanbul without undergoing a security inspection as opposed to the other passengers, who boarded in Anatolia after a full inspection,” the report said. “The IHH operatives’ preparations included handing out walkie-talkies as they boarded the ship, taking over the upper deck, setting up a situation room for communications, and a briefing given to the operatives two hours before the confrontation by IHH head Bülent Yildirim, who was on board the ship and commanded his men,” it continued.

The men were armed large quantities of knives, axes, metal cables, metal pipes used as clubs, wrenches, and other weapons, the report said. “They were also equipped with box cutters which had been prepared on the upper deck in advance,” it added.

“The passengers, including the IHH operatives, stated that there were close relations between the organization and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and that the Turkish government was involved in preparations for the flotilla,” the report asserted.

A journalist onboard the Mavi Marmara, described as having good links with the heads of the Turkish government and Bulent Yildirim, head of the IHH, had stated, “The flotilla was organized with the support of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdogan gave the instructions for it to set sail. That was despite the fact that everyone knew it would never reach its destination,” according to the report….

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