Islamic terrorist, Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, murdered Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov in Turkey Monday – and top Russian politicians think President Barack Obama is to blame for the attack.
Altintas shot Karlov at a photo exhibit in Istanbul and loudly proclaimed the murder was a retaliation for Russian atrocities committed during the Syrian civil war, shouting “Allahu akbar! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!” in Arabic to reporters in the room. “We are the descendants of those who support the Prophet Muhammad with jihad!”
But a top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin claims this wasn’t a lone wolf terror attack – but instead was a move by Obama to provoke Russia.
Senior Russian Senator Frantz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the Russian upper chamber’s Defense and Security Committee, claimed he was suspicious that attack “was a planned action” from top NATO brass, The Sun reports.
“Everyone knew that he was going to attend this photo exhibition. It can be ISIS, or the Kurdish army which tries to hurt Erdogan,” Klintsevich said. “But may be — and it is highly likely — that representatives of foreign NATO secret services are behind it. What has happened is a true provocation, a challenge. It is a challenge for Russia.”
Klintsevich appears to have been referring to an interview between Obama and NPR’s Steve Inskeep last Friday, where Obama vowed American retaliation against what Democrats claim was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama warned. “And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized. Some of it may not be.”
Klintsevich isn’t the only top Russian politician blaming the killing on the Obama administration. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the chief of Russia’s right-wing nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, echoed the claim and said the assassination was “a false flag operation by the West”.
Turkish security officials have a different suspect, and told Reuters there were “very strong signs” the terrorist was a follower of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for orchestrating a failed coup in July. The Horn News reported on Gulen’s controversial ties to the Clinton Foundation last December.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who critics have compared to a dictator, made a statement that was far more neutral than Klintsevich and Zhirinovsky’s claims.
“This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria,” Putin said Monday evening.
President-elect Donald Trump also strongly condemned the attack –
JUST IN: President Elect Trump's statement on the assassination of Russian amb. to Turkey: pic.twitter.com/c4YPnAw27V
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) December 19, 2016
Obama’s official response?
— The Horn editorial team