Leftist terror group claims responsibility for U.S. Embassy bombing

Updated 2:32 AM EST, Mon February 4, 2013

Story highlights

Officials confirm attacker's identity through forensic testing

Terror group claims responsibility and criticizes Turkey for its ties to the West

"E. Alisan Sanli has become a martyr," the group's website says

Authorities have detained three people for questioning over the attack, semi-official media reports

A radical leftist terror group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, which killed a Turkish guard and wounded a television journalist.

In a statement on its website, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party, or DHKP-C, said “E. Alisan Sanli has become a martyr after accomplishing the action on the American Embassy in Ankara.” The governor’s office on Saturday confirmed his identity through forensic testing.

Authorities have since detained three people for questioning over the attack and continue to investigate, according to the semi-official Anadolu new agency.

“We are going to build the future with sacrifices,” said the militant group, which denounced U.S. foreign policy and criticized Turkey for its Western ties in a lengthy and at times rambling statement.

Sanli received bomb-making training somewhere in Europe in the mid-1990s, according to Hasan Selim Ozertem, a security expert at the International Strategic Research Organization in Ankara.

Turkish officials say that as a result of counterterrorism operations on Turkish soil, DHKP-C – often described as having a Marxist-Leninist philosophy – became increasingly active among the Turkish diaspora in Europe.

Sanli returned to Turkey in 1997 and was subsequently involved in attacks on the Istanbul police headquarters and senior military officials using anti-tank weapons. After being arrested, Sanli went on a lengthy hunger strike and was released from jail in 2002 because of a neurological disorder.

The blast killed spurred security clampdowns at diplomatic facilities in Turkey, plus messages of condolences and solidarity.

Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a strike “against the peace and welfare of our country.”

The violence reverberated well beyond Turkey’s borders, especially in the nation whose embassy was targeted.

The spotlight on U.S. diplomatic installations was already intense after violence last September in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was one of four Americans killed in Benghazi.

A Cold War dynamic in Turkish attack

CNN’s Ivan Watson, Tim Lister and Talia Kayali contributed to this report.