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Female firebugs jailed after Newington Green arson attack

PUBLISHED: 12:20 07 June 2012

Altin Yadirgi, 28

Altin Yadirgi, 28

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Three women supporters of a Kurdish separatist terror group petrol bombed a Turkish club in Newington Green.

Four Molotov cocktails were thrown into the Coffee House of the People of Gumushane, in Green Lanes, last year because of its Turkish association, the Old Bailey heard last week.

Dilek Dag, 25, from Holloway, Altin Yadirgi, 28, of Enfield and Dilan Eroglu, 20, of Edmonton all pleaded guilty to arson and being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

The women supported the Kurdish-linked group Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK), the Kurdistan Workers Party, a political group seeking an independent Kurdish state from Turkey and proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Britain and other countries.

A Turkish Airforce strike in Turkey on December 28, which killed Kurdish civilians suspected of being PKK fighters, prompted the women to carry out the attack. Next day they made four petrol bombs out of empty beer bottles and at 1.15am on December 30 drove to the club, which was filled with 10 people, aged 40 to 50, playing cards and drinking coffee.

Two threw the lit petrol-filled bottles, setting alight a table cloth, carpet and chairs, and then ran off. A customer tried to chase them before he realised his arm and leg were alight.

The fire was put out by a neighbouring businessman using his fire extinguisher.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, senior national co-ordinator of counter-terrorism, said: “It is only by luck that none of these petrol bombs smashed during the course of this attack.

“Had any of them done so the likely consequences would have been a catastrophic fireball that would have caused serious and life-threatening injuries in the confined space of the club.’’

The women were arrested three days later after being identified on CCTV buying the petrol and from mobile phone evidence. Eroglu’s fingerprint was found on one of the bottles and forensic examination revealed DNA traces to Eroglu and Yadirgi. CCTV showed their Ford Focus car driving around the block before the attack.

The women, whose full addresses cannot be revealed for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. They denied two further charges of possessing an explosive substance with intent and arson with intent to endanger life, which were ordered to remain on file.

Dag and Yadirgi were each jailed for six years and eight months and Eroglu for six years in a young offenders institute for the firebombing which the judge deemed politically and racially motivated.


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