On Tuesday June 28, three suicide bombers apparently connected to the Islamic State stormed the busy Istanbul International Airport opening fire and detonating explosives, killing 44 people and wounding 239. Two explosions were in the international terminal building and the third was in a parking lot. The “extremely well planned” attack was carried out by Islamists from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and entered Turkey from Raqqa one of the strongholds of the Islamic State. Officials believe that ISIS leadership was involved in the planning of the attack.
Authorities also detained 22 people in connection with the attack, which happened during the final days of Ramadan. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the terror attack “will not divide or split our country.” By killing dozens of civilians, including women and children, Erdogan said, the terrorists are not true Muslims. “This is not Islamic. Taking one person’s life means going straight to hell,” he said. “No terrorist organization will come between what we are.”
The attack is reminiscent of the airport attack in Brussels and the tactics the attackers used (enter shooting and then detonate explosives) were similar to the Paris attack at the Bataclan Theater. Those killed and injured were from all over the world. Turkey is especially vulnerable because there are various terrorist groups operating there. There have been a number of terror attacks in Turkey likely because Turkey is working with U.S. led coalition forces to carry out bombing attacks on ISIS targets. More than 140 people have been killed this year, and the attacks have damaged Turkey’s tourism industry.
Turkey shares long, porous borders with Syria and Iraq, war-torn countries where IS controls large pockets of territory.
Terrorism is predicted in the Bible. Proverbs 3:25 instructs God’s people, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.” And Psalm 91:5 promises that those who live in Christ will not fear the terror by night. “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day…”