Arouri not the only Hamas terrorist who is active in Turkeybehind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. Arouri, who has been in Turkey since at least September 2013, is also likely behind the Hamas plot to overthrow the 'Palestinian Authority,' which was uncovered last week.
But Arouri is not the only active Hamas terrorist in Turkey. Turkey has become a veritable safe haven for Hamas terrorists.
In 2011, Israel released 10 Hamas operatives to Turkey as part of the prisoner exchange that saw Hamas release kidnapped Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Gilad Shalit. Since then, Hamas men have come and gone. But one thing is clear: The Hamas members who remain in Turkey are active. They attend local universities, join Turkish organizations, and play a role in its politics, and also appear to travel freely into and out of the country.
Take Mahmoud Attoun. In the early morning of Dec. 13, 1992, Attoun and a group of other Hamas terrorists abducted IDF Sgt. Maj. Nissim Toledano, a 29-year-old father of two young children, on his walk home from work in the Israeli town of Lod. After his arrest on June 3, 1993, Attoun, then 23, was sentenced to a life term in Israeli prison. He was released in 2011.
Today, Attoun is a rising star within Hamas. He frequently advocates for Hamas around the region, traveling to Tunisia this April to speak with students at the University of Sfax about the Palestinian militant organization. He appeared on a special program in 2012 on al-Quds TV honoring the freed Hamas prisoners, where he openly acknowledged his presence in Turkey. Attoun is also actively involved with the Hikmet Bilim Dostluk ve Yardimlasma Dernegi (HIKMET), a Turkish NGO associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and has spoken at one of their events.
There is also Taysir Suleiman. The Hamas operative was convicted of kidnapping and murdering an Israeli soldier in 1993, and sentenced to life in prison in Israel's high-security Nafha Prison in the Negev Desert. In 2011, he was also shipped abroad in the Shalit deal; today, he openly notes on his Facebook profile that he lives in Istanbul, and he appeared alongside Hamas political bureau leader Khaled Meshaal in a video dated March 2012 in the city. That same summer, he traveled to Southeast Asia and Tunisia, where he presented slide shows to students about the al-Qassam Brigades. In October 2013, Suleiman was featured in an hour-long special on the al-Quds TV station celebrating his release from Israeli prison.
Along with Arouri, Suleiman, and Attoun, there appear to be at least nine other Hamas figures living in Turkey, based on open-source information. None of them were identified by the Israelis in the alleged plot to overthrow Abbas in the West Bank.
However, given that the plot was allegedly hatched out of Turkey, the presence of Arouri and the other Hamas figures prompt some troubling questions about Erdogan's pro-Hamas policies.Read the whole thing. And keep in mind that Erdogan is President Hussein Obama's best friend forever.... What could go wrong?