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Turkish police arrest suspect believe to have killed 39 in New Year's Eve nightclub attack

Turkish police arrest suspect believe to have killed 39 in New Year’s Eve nightclub attack

The man believed to have carried out the New Year’s attack at an Istanbul nightclub was captured by Turkish police early Tuesday morning and confessed to perpetrating the terror attack in the name of the Islamic State group. The massacre at the Reina nightclub left 39 people dead.

Here’s what we know:

  • Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin told reporters early Tuesday that the suspect, identified as Abdulkadir Masharipov, is a native of Uzbekistan. Sahin claimed that Masharipov has confessed to the attack, and added that fingerprints at the scene matched those taken from the suspect.

  • Masharipov was captured in an apartment located in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul, 25 miles from where the attack happened three weeks ago. Four other people were arrested alongside the main suspect — a man and three women. According to Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, Masharipov’s 4-year-old son was with him at the time and has been taken into protective custody.

  • Turkish police identified the suspect’s location four or five days ago, but they delayed the arrest to monitor his movements and contacts, according to Turkish broadcaster NTV. State-run Anadolu Agency said the police were conducting raids of other suspected ISIS safe houses.
  • Sahin said that Masharipov had trained in Afghanistan and spoke four languages. He is thought to have entered Turkey in January 2016. The governor also revealed that during the raid, police confiscated two drones, SIM cards, weapon cartridges, and $197,000 in cash.
  • Responding to the news of the arrest, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said he hoped an interrogation would reveal the “forces behind the attack. “The vile terrorist who attacked the place of entertainment on New Year’s Eve and led to the loss of so many lives has been captured.”

  • Following the arrest, questions will now be asked about how Masharipov was able to enter Turkey prior to the attack, which saw a policeman and civilian shot dead before the attacker entered the nightclub and indiscriminately fire hundreds of rounds of bullets into the crowd of 600 partygoers.
  • In an interview on Monday, Turkey’s deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş said he believed that an intelligence agency was involved in the planning and execution of the attack. “It appears the Reina attack is not just a terrorist organisation’s act, but there was also an intelligence organisation involved. It was an extremely planned and organised attack,” he told broadcaster A Haber.

Cover: ASSOCIATED PRESS

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