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Terrorism expert: Al Qaeda to blame

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(CNN) -- Explosions rocked Istanbul Thursday, five days after two bombings at synagogues in the city. CNN spoke to terrorism experts David Claridge and Sajjan Gohel about who might be behind the attacks.

Claridge: All the signs are that this is an international attack motivated almost probably by Islamist views and almost certainly carried out by al Qaeda.

The key issues here in pointing the finger to al Qaeda are the suicide elements ... and also the simultaneity of the attacks. These hallmarks were also used in the synagogue attacks on Saturday. It's too much of a coincidence to suggest that there may not be a connection between these two devastating events.

I'm pretty sure that this was specifically targeted against British interests. We have seen in the UK an increase in terrorist warnings which are independent of the U.S. president's current visit to the UK.

It's very clear that this is targeted against British diplomatic and commercial interests in an environment where it's much easier perhaps to get to them than it is in London.

The way that al Qaeda has operated over the last two years has been to operate in parts of the world where perhaps security is not as stringent as it may be in the U.S. or the UK, where there is ready Islamist movements that can be co-opted into their activities.

I would suggest that when this is unraveled it will emerge that Turkish groups were probably ultimately responsible for the act but that international forces, al Qaeda actors, would be participating in the planning and the strategic components of an attack of this sort.

Gohel: These kind of terrorist attacks are well planned, well coordinated and a trans-national group -- terrorist group -- will have to have played a significant role.

You have to look at the planning. It can't just be engineered overnight. This takes a lot of time. They need to work out which are the soft targets, which are easy to aim at, where security is lax.

They obviously use very powerful explosives, perhaps potassium chlorate, which was used in the Bali attack, the attacks in Jakarta in August and also in Baghdad. We are looking at highly sophisticated weapons.

I don't believe it's that easy for a local group to engineer this in a very short space of time.

I guess they decided they wanted to attack the British consulate... a symbolic target. The U.S. is closely tied with the UK -- President Bush is making an historic visit (to London) right now.

It's obviously aimed to warn the British interests that they are not safe anywhere at any time around the world.

I think we will see more attacks on British interests as well as Western interests in the coming months.

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