Turkish authorities announced the gunman who killed 39 people in the Istanbul nightclub attack on New Year’s Day is 28-year-old Lakhe Mashrapov from Kyrgyzstan.
Reports indicate the Islamic terrorist may have trained and fought in Syria, before traveling into Turkey undetected.
A security source told Reuters, “The assailant has experience in combat for sure … he could have been fighting in Syria for years,” and the Haberturk newspaper reported that police investigations show the gunman entered Turkey from Syria, and traveled with his wife and kids in order to slip into the country without attracting any attention to himself.
— Soraya Lennie (@soraya_lennie) January 3, 2017
Mashrapov remains on the loose at this hour, but police announced that they have arrested two foreign nationals at Istanbul airport who may also be connected to the attack.
The Dogan news agency reported that the gunman’s wife and other family members were among those detained in overnight raids which took place in the central Turkish province of Konya.
The gunman’s wife is quoted as saying she learned about her husband attacking the nightclub from TV reports, and said she had no idea he was involved with the Islamic State.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and said the shooting was an act of revenge for Turkey’s involvement in Syria.
Below is a “selfie” video the gunman took of himself as he walked around Taksim Square in Istanbul.
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) January 2, 2017
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