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Turkish police say US Embassy was target of bomb plot

ISTANBUL — Turkish police said Thursday that they found evidence of an al-Qaida-linked plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, a synagogue in Istanbul and other targets, during a raid on two houses in February.

Turkish news reports said the police had seized nearly 50 pounds of plastic explosives with detonation systems attached, as well as six laptop computers and other evidence. Twelve suspects were arrested during the operation — two Chechens, two Azeris and eight Turks.

The police said the raid gathered evidence about two terrorist cells, one in Istanbul and one in the city of Tekirdag on the Sea of Marmara. Forensic analysis of the computers’ contents and other documents, officials said, revealed preparations for bomb attacks on the embassy, the private Rahmi M. Koc museum and a synagogue in the Balat District of Istanbul.

Photographs, floor plans and other information were found concerning those targets and the residences and offices of two popular Turks.

After the police raid, the U.S. Embassy issued a travel warning, but said at the time that the Turkish National Police had not provided specific threat information about the targets.

—Sebnem Arsu, The New York Times

Islands, and now a funeral, strain Argentine-British ties

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Argentina and Britain, whose ties were already strained over their rival claims of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, now seem to be having trouble getting along when it comes to a funeral.

More than 2,000 invitations have been issued around the world to next week’s ceremonial funeral with military honors in London for Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who died Monday at age 87. But Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, did not make the list.

Breaking the silence of Argentina’s government since Thatcher’s death, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman called the lack of an invitation “yet another provocation.” Thatcher oversaw Britain’s victory in a 74-day war in 1982 over the Falklands, a sparsely-populated South Atlantic archipelago that Argentina calls the Malvinas.

“What do I care if I’m not invited to a place where I didn’t think of going?” Timerman added in comments broadcast on Argentine radio Thursday. “The woman died. Let her family mourn in peace,” he said, while also dismissing a proposal floated in London to rename Port Stanley, the Falklands capital, Port Margaret.

“What does it matter if they want to name it Port Margaret, Margarita or Margarona?” he asked. “Argentina and the United Nations don’t recognize it.”

—Simon Romero, The New York Times