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, Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau said on Sunday.
- With Police at Our Schools and Road Blocks at Our Shuls, We Turkish Jews Soldier On
- Why Jews in Terror-stricken Turkey Aren’t Fleeing to Israel – Yet
- Is ISIS Setting Its Sights on Israelis Abroad?
In response to a query from Haaretz, the bureau noted that it has always maintained that it had no information indicating the attack was specifically directed against Israelis.
Unconfirmed reports in Turkey following the bombing insinuated that the attacker, identified by Turkish officials as an Islamic State-linked militant, had trailed Israeli tourists before blowing himself up. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even said Israel was looking into the possibility that Israelis were the attack's target.
The anti-terror bureau, which is nested within the Prime Minister's Office, recently issued a travel advisory for Turkey, warning Israelis to leave as soon as possible and avoid traveling there. The travel advisory remains in place despite the new security assessment.
The bureau told AP that security agencies carried out a month-long investigation into the blast, which took place next to an Israeli culinary tour group and also killed an Iranian tourist.