More information is being released about the three ISIS terrorists who slaughtered 43 people and injured 240 in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday. Officials are fearful that a second terror cell is planning another attack imminently, and have rounded up 13 additional suspects on Thursday.
The three jihadis are reportedly from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and all three had Russian passports with them, and used suicide bomb vests, AK-47’s and Glock pistols to carry out their attack.
The Mirror has reported that the three men rented a first-floor apartment just 12 miles from the airport, in the district of Faith, only 32 days ago, signing a 1-year lease. Neighbors say the men “spoke to no one” during their stay there, but were often heard loudly arguing among themselves.
A woman who lives in a neighboring apartment said there were strange smells coming from the men’s apartment. “It was like a gas, and we heard clicking sounds.” Another woman claimed she had gone to speak with local authorities about her suspicions and asked the official if he knew who they are? She was told not to worry, reported the Daily Mail.
When their apartment was inspected, officials discovered the men had installed an additional metal door on the inside of their front door. Notebooks and manuals were found near the apartment which the men had thrown away.
Investigators say they believe the three men are part of a terror cell who participated in training with ISIS in Raqqa within the last year. A fourth member of the group is believed to still be on the loose, and officials are searching for him.
The man dressed in the red T-shirt has been identified as Osman Vadinov, a Russian national.
The three men took a taxi to the Istanbul airport, arriving at 9:49 p.m. local time. The taxi driver reported that the men were calmly speaking Russian and he had no suspicions of them whatsoever.
Upon arriving, however, they split up to target different areas of the airport – a tactic to create maximum panic and damage. They took their guns from a suitcase, and had bombs in backpacks, plus suicide belts hidden under their jackets.
A security officer became suspicious of the men, as they were wearing coats in summer weather. He texted a fellow officer: “He is walking around with a coat in this weather. Brother, he looks like a robber, shall we follow him?”
He asked for identification, and the man pretended to look for it, then straightened back up and shot the officer, who is now fighting for his life. The jihadi then ran off, and detonated his suicide vest at 9:51 p.m.
The other two jihadis separated, one going toward the VIP area of the airport, and the other went towards the international arrivals section.
The VIP section jihadi was shot by a cop at 9:53 p.m. He fell to the floor, then detonated his bomb.
Hundreds of terrified people ran for the exits as the third jihadi at international arrivals started shooting a people, then detonated his bomb as well, reported The Mirror.
Paul Roos, 77, a South African tourist on his way home, said he saw one of the attackers “randomly shooting” in the departures hall from about 50 metres away.
“He was wearing all black. His face was not masked… We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting,” Roos told news agency Reuters.
“He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator… We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.”
Fox News has reported that just three days before the attack, on June 25, two suspected ISIS militants were shot and killed by Turkish security forces as they tried to cross the border illegally and ignored warnings to stop. One of those men was wanted by Turkey on suspicion that he would carry out suicide attacks.
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