US-Istanbul Flights Briefly Suspended After Terrorist Attack

An attack left at least 36 dead and 147 injured at Ataturk Airport.

ByABC News
June 28, 2016, 8:29 PM

— -- In the wake of a terrorist attack that left at least 36 people dead and 147 others injured at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, all scheduled flights between the United States and Istanbul were briefly suspended.

At the time of the attack, 10 flights were airborne heading to U.S. destinations from Ataturk Airport, all of them Turkish Airlines flights.

A senior U.S. official told ABC News that the flights were set to be isolated and searched once they landed, after which they will be allowed to proceed to their gates.

The first flight to land on U.S. soil arrived at New York's JFK Airport at 5:30 p.m. without incident. Another flight is scheduled for a 10:15 p.m. arrival. Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Washington and San Francisco are all scheduled to have flights from Istanbul arriving tonight.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced added patrols with tactical weapons and equipment at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with local law enforcement, is coordinating security efforts with the agency.

Ataturk Airport, like many others across the Middle East, has a layer of security at the terminal entrance, including X-rays that scan checked and carry-on bags, and metal detectors that scan passengers. Ataturk is the world's 11th-busiest international airport, with nearly 62 million passengers traveling through it in 2015, according to Airports Council International, an industry representative association.

Today's attack comes three months after deadly coordinated bombs were detonated at an international airport in Brussels. Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist expressed on Twitter Tuesday evening his sympathy for those affected by the Istanbul attack.

This is the fifth major attack on Turkey’s biggest city this year. Earlier this month, a car bomb attack on a police bus has killed seven officers and four civilians in central Istanbul.

ABC News' Alexander Marquardt, Jon Williams, John Gallagher, Whitney Lloyd and Casey Decker contributed to this report.

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