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Who is Behind Istanbul Attack?

Henri J. Barkey

In the coming hours and days there will be much speculation and plenty of accusations bandied around. Like the fog of war, the fog of terrorism leaves many questions.

Ambulances arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Tuesday's bombing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport could not have come at a worse time for Turkey.

The attack, which early reports suggest has left at least 36 dead and dozens more injured, comes as the Turkish economy was already reeling after tourism plunged following attacks in Ankara and Istanbul.

Making matters worse was a decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to advise Russians not to travel to Turkey following the downing of a Russian bomber.

But while the potential for further damage to the Turkish economy seems clear, what is less apparent is who actually is responsible.

Early reports -- and it must be stressed that these are only preliminary -- suggest that there were at least three perpetrators carrying automatic rifles who died after setting off suicide bombs.

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About the Author

Henri J. Barkey

Henri J. Barkey

Former Director, Middle East Program
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Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more