Reports Finger Istanbul Terrorist as Kyrgyzstan Man
Turkish media reportedly named the main suspect in a New Year's terror attack that left 39 people dead in an Istanbul club as a Kyrgyz man who had fought for Daesh [ISIS/ISIL] terror group, amid swirling rumors over the man's identity.
According to reports, the suspect was named as Iakhe Mashrapov, a 28-year-old from Kyrgyzstan who entered Turkey in November. There was no confirmation from authorities in Turkey.
The reports came as Turkish authorities intensified their hunt for the attacker.
Daesh on Monday claimed the massacre, the first time it has clearly said it was behind a major attack in Turkey.
The government said Monday that eight people had been detained but media reports said the number had increased to 12 after new detentions in the Anatolian city of Konya.
Several media outlets on Monday, citing unnamed security sources, said the man was believed to be from a Central Asian nation and may have been part of the same cell that staged a June attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that killed 45 people.
Haber Turk newspaper on Tuesday said the man was thought to be a member of China's Muslim Uighur minority.
Without citing a source, the newspaper said he had arrived in the Turkish city of Konya with his wife and two children in order not to raise suspicions. His family members were detained, the newspaper said.
The Dogan news agency also said the arrested included a woman suspected of being the gunman's wife but gave no further details.
The club assailant, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian in the early hours of 2017 outside the Reina club before entering and firing at some of the estimated 600 people inside.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team