The terror suspect in a Turkey nightclub attack that left 39 people dead is believed to have shot a grim video of himself strolling around a popular area in Istanbul.
The camera lens stays steadfastly on the man’s angry face as he strolls Taksim square, a major tourist site in Istanbul. The video spans 44 seconds and was broadcast on local state-run television.
From the Associated Press:
“It wasn’t immediately clear if it was filmed before or after the New Year’s massacre at the Reina nightclub, or how the footage was obtained. The gunman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, is still at large.
“The Islamic State group claimed the attack on Monday, saying a “soldier of the caliphate” had carried out the mass shooting to avenge Turkish military operations against IS in northern Syria….
“At least 14 people have been detained in connection with the attack. Two foreigners were detained at Ataturk airport’s international terminal on Tuesday after police checked their cellphones and luggage, according to Anadolu.
“Hurriyet newspaper said that a woman identified by Turkish media as the wife of the massacre suspect has told police she didn’t know her husband was an IS member.”
Various media reported the gunman had flown from Istanbul from Kyrgzstan with his wife and children on November 20. They then drove to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, and from there, to Konya, on November 22.
From AP again:
“The family rented a studio in Konya, paying three months of rent upfront. The gunman told the real estate agent he had arrived in Konya in search of work, according to the report.
“Hurriyet said the gunman returned to Istanbul Dec. 29.
“Several media outlets on Monday, citing unnamed security sources, said the man was believed to be from Central Asia and may have been part of the cell that staged a June attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 45 people.
“Haber Turk newspaper on Tuesday said the man is thought to be a member of China’s Muslim Uighur minority. A Kyrgyz passport circulated on Turkish media but police said it did not belong to the gunman.
“The nightclub assailant, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian in the early hours of 2017 outside the club before opening fire on the estimated 600 people inside. The establishment is frequented by famous locals, including singers, actors and athletes. Most of the dead on Sunday were foreign tourists.”