Turkish forces captured the terrorist who massacred 39 people at a New Year’s celebration in Istanbul. He admitted working for ISIS.
Turkish security forces on Monday captured Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national responsible for carrying out the massacre at the crowded Reina nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations, killing 39 people and wounding some 70.
Most of those killed were foreigners from the Middle East, including an Israeli woman, Lian Zaher.
Masharipov was caught late Monday in a police operation at a luxury residential complex in Istanbul. The state-run Anadolu Agency said a man from Kyrgyzstan and three women — from Somalia, Senegal and Egypt — were detained in the raid, while Masharipov’s four-year old son, who was with him at the time of the arrest, was taken under protective custody.
Photographs from the raid showed a bruised, black-haired man in a gray, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. NTV television said the terrorist had resisted arrest.
Turkish media also circulated a photograph of the suspect lying on the floor facedown, hands bound behind his back with the boot of an unidentified man pressed to the back of his head.
Hurriyet newspaper earlier reported that the suspect’s wife and one-year-old daughter were caught in a police operation in the neighborhood of Zeytinburnu, a working class district of Istanbul, on January 12.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the attack was executed on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and that Masharipov confessed to carrying out the massacre. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack a few days after it was carried out.
“It is clear that this was carried out in the name of Daesh [ISIS],” Sahin stated, using an Arabic acronym for the terror group.
Sahin also confirmed the identity of the suspected terrorist who is now being questioned, saying he had trained in Afghanistan. The suspect’s fingerprints matched those of found at the scene of the attack, the governor said.
Anadolu reported that police also carried out raids on members of a suspected Uzbek ISIS cell in five Istanbul neighborhoods and detained several people.
The police operation to apprehend Masharipov drew on the review of 7,200 hours of security camera footage and about 2,200 tipoffs from the public. Authorities seized nearly $200,000, two guns and two drones during the suspect’s arrest.
Binali Yildirim, Turkey’s prime minister, told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday that he hoped the interrogation would unveil the “forces” behind the attack. He provided no further details on the arrest or the investigation, saying authorities would provide details “in time.”
“What is important is for the suspect to be captured and for the power the forces behind it to be revealed,” Yildirim stated.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff