Istanbul Attacker Arrested

Turkish police stand guard outside the Reina nightclub.
Turkish police stand guard outside the Reina nightclub.

Turkish police were questioning on Tuesday the suspected terrorist who slaughtered 39 people on New Year’s night at an Istanbul nightclub, after capturing him in a raid on a residential area of the city after a long manhunt.

The alleged assailant, named Abdulgadir Masharipov, was found along with his four-year-old son in an apartment in the Esenyurt District of Istanbul after a massive police operation, state-run TRT television reported.

Four other suspects were detained, including three women, AFP reported.

The attacker had been on the run for 17 days, after slipping into the night following the attack on the glamorous Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus.

Reports had previously suggested he never left the Turkish metropolis, despite a tightening of borders to stop him from escaping, triggering fears that a dangerous killer was on the loose in the city.

The self-styled Islamic State claimed the bloodbath, the first time it has ever openly claimed a major attack in Turkey.

It had previously been blamed for several strikes in Turkey this year, including the triple suicide bombings at Istanbul airport in June.

The suspect was caught in an operation jointly carried out by the Turkish police and the spy agency MIT, Turkish TV said. A 1,000-strong police squad was set up to ensure Masharipov’s arrest.

Turkish media published a picture of the detained man with blood on his face and T-shirt, his neck gripped by a policeman.

He was given an obligatory health check before being taken to Istanbul’s police headquarters for questioning.

Images of the suspected attacker released by police during the manhunt were taken from a chilling silent video he purportedly took on Istanbul’s Taksim Square with a selfie stick, before carrying out the carnage.


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