National Security

Here’s What We Know About The ISIS Istanbul Shooter

REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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The terrorist believed to be responsible for the mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub has been caught, and the details as to his background are nothing short of extraordinary.

The suspect’s name is Abdulkadir Masharipov and he is a native of Uzbekistan. He is potentially linked to the Islamic State, and went through terrorist training in Afghanistan.

Far from the “average” terrorist, Masharipov was born in 1983, speaks four languages and was “well trained” by a terrorist organization in Afghanistan, according to Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin. He is believed to have been in Turkey for approximately one year before allegedly engaging in the shooting at the Reina club.

“The perpetrator of this vile attack has been captured,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim told reporters Tuesday. “The powers behind this will be revealed.”

Turkish security officials captured Masharipov at an apartment in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, in addition to four others suspected of being associated with the crime. They also discovered approximately $200,000 in cash. The Turkish government released photos of Masharipov shortly after his capture which showed him bruised and bloody after what appears to have been a violent struggle with police. It also claimed that he admitted to his guilt and that his fingerprints matched evidence taken from the crime scene.

Masharipov is alleged to have killed 39 people and injured as many as 70 more in his bloody assault. Turkish officials released a selfie picture bearing Masharipov’s likeness shortly after the attack, urging the public to keep an eye out for the perpetrator. Additionally, a surveillance video taken from the entrance to the scene of the crime shows the shooter as he began his rampage.

ISIS took credit for Masharipov’s attack, claiming it was retribution for Turkey’s military operations against the terrorist group in Syria. It was considered one of the most deadly terrorist attacks in Turkish history.

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