The Turkish off-duty police officer who killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Monday refused to pass through a metal detector before the event, flashing his badge to gain access.
The police officer-turned-terrorist, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, reportedly took a leave of absence from work the day of the attack and checked into a nearby hotel. Turkish media reports that he methodically planned the attack, casing out the art gallery three days before the assassination.
Altıntaş served as an Ankara police officer for nearly two years prior to the attack. Preliminary Turkish media reports say al-Qaida propaganda was found in his home in a recent search. His relatives have been detained by Turkish authorities and are currently being questioned.
Altıntaş ominously stood behind Karlov as he was speaking at an Ankara art gallery before unloading nine rounds into him.
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) December 19, 2016
The brutal assault was caught by an Associated Press photographer and video cameras on the scene.
— Грани.Ру (@GraniTweet) December 19, 2016
After the shooting Altıntaş screamed the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” an arabic poem tangentially associated with al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria and the phrase “Don’t forget about Syria.”
When Turkish police told him to drop his weapon, he defiantly replied,“I won’t leave this place alive and I haven’t arrived here to get out alive.”
Altıntaş was killed shortly after in a shootout with police officers.
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