Explosion at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy
Explosion at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy Reuters

The suicide bomber who killed one person and wounded another in an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Friday is a member of an outlawed leftist group, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet.

Erdogan’s statement confirmed reports claiming the bomber was a 30-year-old member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). The suspect, identified as Ecevit Sanlı, has previously spent time in prison, according to Hurriyet.

“The suicide bomber exploded the bomb right after crossing [the personnel entry] and died in the explosion. A birth mark on his head proves [his identity], but DNA tests will be carried out to make sure. It is clear that he is a member of DHKP/C. He has perpetrated such attacks before,” Erdogan was quoted as having said during a live TV interview on private broadcaster Haberturk.

Erdogan played down claims that the attack might be related to Turkey’s position on the Syrian crisis, saying, “I don't see this connection as likely. You know that the DHKP/C made some other attempts lately, but Turkey is taking steps against terrorism as well.”

The prime minister also said he had called U.S. Ambassador Francis Riccardone to express his condolences.

According to Hurriyet, the suspected suicide bomber Ecevit Sanlı spent time in prison between 1997 and 2000 for attacking an Istanbul military guest house with a flame thrower.

He participated in hunger strikes while being held in Ümraniye Prison in 2000, the report said. Sanlı was released on probation in 2002.

The security guard who also died in the attack has been identified as Mustafa Akarsu, 36, Interior Minister Muammer Güler said in a statement.

Previous reports indicated that two security guards had died in the blast, but this was later corrected to indicate that the second death was the suicide bomber.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)