Three Kurdish women who firebombed Turkish club in Stoke Newington jailed
07:39 31 May 2012
Three Kurdish women were jailed last week for a potentially “catastrophic” petrol bomb attack on a Turkish club in Stoke Newington, deemed to be politically and racially motivated by the judge
Four home-made petrol bombs were thrown into the Coffee House of the People of Gumushane in 94 Green Lanes last year, because of its Turkish association.
Dilek Dag, 25, Altin Yadirgi, 28, and Dilan Eroglu, 20, all pleaded guilty to arson.
The court heard the three women supported the aims of the Kurdish-linked group Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK).
A Turkish Airforce Strike in Turkey on December 28, which killed Kurdish civilians suspected of being PKK fighters, prompted them to carry out the attack.
The next day the women made four petrol bombs out of empty beer bottles and drove over to the club, which was filled with 10 people aged 40 to 50 playing cards and drinking coffee at 1.15am on December 30.
Two of them threw the lit petrol-filled bottles, setting alight a table cloth, carpet and chairs, before they all ran off.
One 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 own fire extinguisher before fire crews arrived.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, the senior national coordinator 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 social club.”
The women were arrested three days later after detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command identified them using CCTV footage of them buying the petrol and mobile phone evidence.
Eroglu’s fingerprint was found on one of the bottles and further forensic examination revealed DNA traces to Eroglu and Yadirgi.
CCTV footage also shows their Ford Focus car making loops around the block, conducting hostile reconnaissance before the attack.
All three women pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 27 April 2012 and appeared before Woolwich Crown Court for sentencing.
Dag and Yadirgi were jailed for six years and eight months each, and Eroglu for six years.