'Long summer of discontent': Officials worry Turkish attack could be start of terror campaign

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U.S. Officials say attack fits ISIS profile

The deadly bombings at a Turkish airport could be the start of a new wave of terror attacks, worried U.S officials told NBC News.

"Our long summer of discontent has just begun," a senior intelligence official told NBC News Tuesday evening.

The use of multiple suicide bombers fits the M.O. of ISIS — not the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK — and so does the target, in this case Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, they said.

"There are only two groups capable of carrying out such a large scale attack," a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said. "This does not fit the PKK profile, they go after Turkish targets, not international targets."

See photos from the attack:

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Ataturk airport attack in Istanbul
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Ataturk airport attack in Istanbul
An entrance of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after explosions, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing at least 10 people and wounding around 20 others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. (DHA via AP) 
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY AND DEATH Forensic experts work outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
People phone and wait with their luggage outside the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 28 people and injured 20. All flights at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport were suspended on June 28, 2016 after a suicide attack left at least 10 people dead and 20 others wounded, Turkish television stations reported. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish police officers stand outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, late Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel) TURKEY OUT
Bodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency. 
Medics and security members work at the entrance of the Ataturk Airport after explosions in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (IHA via AP) 
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
This picture obtained from the Ilhas News Agency shows ambulances and police intervening next to injured people lying on the ground, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carries his daughter outside as people leave the airport after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers wait with their luggage outside the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 10 people and injured 20. All flights at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport were suspended on June 28, 2016 after a suicide attack left at least 10 people dead and 20 others wounded, Turkish television stations reported. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture obtained from the Ilhas News Agency shows emergency workers caring for an injured woman lying on the ground, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / ILHAS NEWS AGENCY / - / Turkey OUT (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (Ismail Coskun, IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
Bodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 28: Police blocks the entrance of the Ataturk International Airport after an explosion, in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. Unspecified number of injured in explosion at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. (Photo by Veli Gurgah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An injured person sits in an ambulance outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding scores of others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Officials walk inside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY AND DEATHBodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
In this image taken from DHA TV, a police cordon is set up outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday June 28, 2016. Two explosions rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening, according to a Turkish official. (DHA TV via AP)
In this image taken from DHA TV, a police cordon is set up outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday June 28, 2016. Two explosions rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening, according to a Turkish official. (DHA TV via AP) TURKEY OUT.
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Paramedics help a man in a wheelchair at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 28: Entrance of the Ataturk International Airport after an explosion, in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. Unspecified number of injured in explosion at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. (Photo by Veli Gurgah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Paramedics push a stretcher at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding scores of others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fire at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Armed security walks at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A policeman gestures at an ambulance after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / People stand outside the entrance as they leave the airport after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Many relatives waiting for loved ones outside Ataturk Airport https://t.co/g7KISOS3vF
Atatürk havalimanında patlamalar silah sesleri https://t.co/EqAz8TUuLK
Hearing news about shootings and suicide bomb blasts at #Istanbul Ataturk International Airport. Ohh not again :( https://t.co/Mgpo3wVhtf
Turkish official says two explosions in Ataturk airport, multiple injuries
Atatürk hava limani bombali saldiri yapildi https://t.co/qWpnLX7sGk
Successive explosions occurred at entrance to the passenger terminal at #Ataturk International Airport in #Istanbul-possibly suicide bombers
#pts: Judging from pics, attack targeted #Ataturk’s International Terminal, which has pre-check-in security measures https://t.co/I4RlXj3kyz
Pictures circulating on Twitter are showing the devastation and panic in Istanbul Ataturk Airport https://t.co/D3XKXUbUv4
#SONDAKİKA! Atatürk Havalimanı'nda patlama... Yaralılar var... İşte ilk görüntüler https://t.co/NPG6labTAh
Heart hurts. #Turkey, stay strong. #Ataturk
CNN Turk just said 30 ambulances are at Istanbul Ataturk airport.
Injuries reported at the international terminal of Istanbul Ataturk Airport after an explosovia @140journos https://t.co/tvQKg1mYjs
Bombings confirmed to have occurred at #Ataturk International Arrivals/Departures terminal entrance. Suicide bombings increasingly likely
Photos and reports from Ataturk Airport look like 1st suicide bomber detonated outside checkpoint, opening way into terminal for 2nd bomber.
Turkish official: two suicide bombers detonated explosives at entrance of int'l terminal of Ataturk airport after police shot at them.
At least 10 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at Istanbul Ataturk airport: justice minister
Anyone who's ever been knows #Istanbul's Ataturk airport is extremely well protected. This is huge and required careful planning.
Flew through Ataturk airport over spring break. 6 layers of security between terminal doors and plane. How far out can perimeter go?
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Also, ISIS is far more bloodthirsty than the Kurdish rebel group, which has been battling Ankara for years and tends to go after military targets.

"This is indiscriminate, which fits the ISIS profile," the official said.

Ambassador James Jeffrey, a former U.S. diplomat who worked in Turkey and Iraq, agreed.

"There have been four attacks in Turkey by [terrorists] in the past year," he told MSNBC.

Officials said they were unaware of any "chatter" preceding the attack. But they said there had been a "heightened state of alert" across Europe for months.

Jeffrey said perimeter security at the airport appears to have prevented the terrorists from penetrating deeper into the airport.

A hero cop who died in the blast may have saved dozens more when he wrestled one of the invaders to the ground.

"A porter who we use, someone we have a long relationship with, was with another customer in the airport and heard an explosion," NBC News' Richard Engel said on MSNBC TV. "He saw a police officer wrestling a man on the ground, a man he'd tackled. A short time after that, he saw the suicide bomber explode."

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