|Born||1972 (age 44–45)
|Known for||suspected of being a terrorist bomber|
Louai Sakka (born 1972) is a Syrian of Turkish background, who was convicted in Turkey of playing a role in several terrorist bombings. His first conviction was overturned on appeal, and he is currently being re-tried.
Alleged jihadist career
According to The Washington Post, Sakka was suspected of playing a role in a plot to bomb hotels in Amman, Jordan, on 31 December 1999. They reported he was the planner of the truck bomb attacks that killed 57 in Istanbul in 2003; that he was a trusted associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and had led foreign fighters during the battle of Fallujah; and that he aided other fighters in their travels, with funding and false passports. He was captured in Antalya when a bomb exploded in his apartment on 4 August 2005.
The Washington Post reported that Turkish security officials asserted he had acknowledged that he had been constructing the bomb, which he intended to use as a suicide bomb when he guided a yacht into a cruise ship that had American GIs.
Sakka was represented by Osman Karakan. Karakan said that Sakka had willingly acknowledged his jihadist activities, and remained committed to jihadism—but was nevertheless refusing to sign a confession.
The Washington Post reported that he drank alcohol, and hung out with unmarried women, in order to mask the fact that he was a fundamentalist. Today's Zaman reported Sakka had warned Turkish troops in Afghanistan that they could be faced with “disaster”.
“Turkish [military] vehicles carry CIA agents in Afghanistan. The public should understand this fact. I’d like to warn [Turkish] soldiers about the disaster they could be faced with if they continue their activities. The Turkish military has been implicated in activities for which resister [Islam] combatants will never forgive them. I am calling the Turkish public as a friend. Save your children from Afghanistan.”
- Karl Vick (2006-02-20). "A Bomb-Builder, 'Out of the Shadows': Syrian Linked to Al Qaeda Plots Describes Plan to Attack Cruise Ship in Turkey". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-08-06.
His real identity began to emerge shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 4, when the windows of Apt. 1703 blew out, showering the parking lot with the contents of the kitchen and bits and pieces of the massive bomb Sakka had been painstakingly assembling in the living room. Sakka, who escaped the inferno only to be arrested two days later, turned out to be a senior operative for al Qaeda and intimately linked to major terrorist plots in Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, where he had worked beside Abu Musab Zarqawi, a longtime confederate.
- "Louai Sakka arrives at hearing in orange "Guantanamo" jumpsuit". Hurriyet. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
Louai Sakka, who is being tried for a life sentence in Turkey for alleged high level involvement in the Al Queda terror group, came to court yesterday in Istanbul dressed in an orange jumpsuit like the ones worn by Guantanamo Bay prisoners, but was not allowed into the courtroom by the judge.
- Bill Roggio (2012-08-06). "Lawyer who defended suspected al Qaeda militants in Turkey killed in Aleppo". Long War Journal. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
Karahan had defended numerous al Qaeda suspects in Turkey, most notably Loua'i Sakka, a Turkish-speaking Syrian thought to be the planner of the November 2003 truck bombings in Istanbul. Those bombings killed some 60 people in Istanbul during twin simultaneous attacks on two synagogues, an HSBC branch, and the British Consulate.
- Karl Vick (2006-02-24). "In Turkey, a bomb-builder 'out of the shadows'". Bangor Daily News. p. 75. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "Al-Qaeda suspect threatens Turkish troops in Afghanistan". Today's Zaman. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
Louai Sakka, who is standing trial on charges of participating in bombings around Istanbul in November 2003 and is accused of being a top al-Qaeda official, threatened Turkish troops in Afghanistan during yesterday’s hearing, saying Turkey should be prepared against any attack on its troops in that country.
- "United Nations commission in Istanbul to investigate Louai Sakka". Hurriyet. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
Two members of the United Nations International Investigative Commission are in Istanbul to research possible links between top Al Qaeda operative Louai Sakka and the assassination two years ago of former Lebanese prime minister Refik Hariri.