Turkey

Terror suspect linked to 2017 Istanbul nightclub attack

Suspect's fingerprints found in house the perpetrator of attack, which killed 39 people, stayed

24.12.2018
Terror suspect linked to 2017 Istanbul nightclub attack

By Yusuf Koyun and Anil Bagrik

ADANA

A foreign national suspect arrested during counter-terror operations in southern Turkey was found to have links to the 2017 New Year’s Eve gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub, according to judicial sources on Monday.

In a statement, Chief Public Prosecutors' office in Adana said the fingerprints of the Chechnya-origin Russian citizen, identified by the initials A.G., matched those found in the house the nightclub attacker stayed.

The suspect was arrested in Adana's Seyhan district with a fake Syrian identity card in his possession.

The fingerprint searches revealed that one of the fingerprints found in the house in Istanbul's Basaksehir district, where Abdulgadir Masharipov, the perpetrator of a deadly New Year's Eve attack in 2017 stayed, belonged to A.G.

"The suspect is thought to have come to Turkey to carry out the terror act on New Year's," the statement added.

At least 39 people, including a police officer, were killed and 79 others injured when a gunman opened fire on partygoers at the nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017.

On Jan. 16, Masharipov was captured by police in Istanbul's Esenyurt district.

According to the further investigations, A.G. had fought on behalf of the Al-Qaeda terror group in 2011 in Chechnya and came to Turkey in 2013 after being sought with an arrest warrant in his country.

After staying in Turkey for a year, A.G. went to Syria to fight for Al-Qaeda and returned to Turkey after a while, the statement said.

"The investigations on the digital materials seized, [reveals] the suspect A.G. had photos with arms and a number of explosive devices used during terror acts carried out on behalf of terror groups in Chechnya and Syria.

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