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Turkey blasts: Militants 'warning'

Al Qaeda linked group says it was behind blasts

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Two hotels in Istanbul were rocked by simultaneous bomb blasts.
Istanbul (Turkey)
Acts of terror

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- An Islamic group with links to al Qaeda has claimed to have mounted explosions in Istanbul which killed two people Tuesday.

The group coupled the claim with a dire warning saying they were the first of many attacks planned in Europe.

CNN cannot authenticate the claim, which was posted on an Islamist Web site, and apparently came from the military section of the Abu Hafs Al Masri Brigades, a group in Europe linked to al Qaeda.

Near-simultaneous explosions hit two Istanbul hotels early Tuesday, killing two people. Another attack unsuccessfully was aimed at gas tanks at a fuel storage depot. (Full story)

"The first attack which targeted Istanbul is only the beginning of several attacks that will be targeting European capitals," the group said, and it warned, "You will hear from us something you never heard of."

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, but Ankara -- located farther east -- is its capital. It is not known if the group was referring to seats of government or important cities generically considered financial or cultural capitals.

"Istanbul was only the beginning," according to the statement, which said "a group of mujahedeen" from the group "did the first attack after all of them have refused the truce that was offered by our sheikh," referring to Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden in April set a three-month deadline for European states to reject the U.S.-led war on terror. The initiative was spurned by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, where a deadly attack was launched by terrorists on March 11.

The statement said details of Tuesday's attack will be issued in another statement "in which we will be explaining the way the mujahedeen had managed to reach the location and how they planted the bombs and left safely."

The statement said Europe will experience conflict until it changes its policies toward Muslims.

It also calls for rejecting American policies that are resulting in the killings of "Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and the rest of the Muslim world."

"The European capitals will witness in the coming days several attacks done by those mujahedeen which are looking for becoming martyrs for God," the statement said.

"The bitterness that the Muslims are paying for or experiencing in Iraq , and Palestine will be tasted by all those who are living in the European Union in Istanbul and Rome and the rest of the countries that are following the same American policy and we will not let them live safe or secure as long as the people of Iraq and Palestine are not enjoying that."

Turkey, part of both the European and Asian continents, considers itself a European nation, but is not yet a member of the EU, an affiliation that it has long coveted. Istanbul itself straddles both continents.

"Our position is clear and will not change it. We will never leave you alone," the statement said. editor Caroline Faraj contributed to this report

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