The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant who staged an attack on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub in the early hours of Jan. 1 looks like a professional who received military training on how to use a weapon, according to security experts. Police have released the first footage of the Reina attacker, who killed 39 people and wounded 65 others, with initial police reports suggesting he may be from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan. Officials are also investigating the possibility that the attacker may be from Xinjiang in eastern China and aged around 25, according to a report in daily Habertürk. It is still unclear how many minutes the attacker spent inside the club before fleeing. He went upstairs after entering Reina and started firing on revelers, before going downstairs to continue shooting.
The Daesh terror group has claimed responsibility for the Reina nightclub attack that killed 39 people and wounded 65 others in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations. The attack came at the same time that Ankara has intensified internal and cross-border operations against the terrorist organization. The launch of the cross-border operation was part of Turkey’s new aim to eliminate terror threats posed to the country’s national security before they are able to carry out the attacks. As such, through successful operations, Turkey has managed to push away the Daesh threat from its southern border to a range that is outside of that of the terror group’s missiles. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu stated that police detained eight suspects yesterday who may be affiliated with the deadly attack. Also, during security forces’ operations targeting Daesh conducted between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, some 25 of the 147 detained were later arrested for their links to the organization, the Ministry said in a statement.