World

Gunman may have fought for ISIS

Istanbul nightclub shooter looked like he was trained in using arms

ISTANBUL The attacker who killed 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub had fought in Syria for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and used techniques he had learnt in the civil war, a report said yesterday.

Turkey's The Hurriyet daily said the attacker - who has yet to be formally identified and is on the run - showed signs of being trained in the use of arms.

He wreaked havoc inside the Reina nightclub early Sunday, spraying some 120 bullets from his Kalashnikov before disappearing into the night.

The ISIS terrorist group on Monday claimed the attack, the first time it has clearly stated being behind a major attack in Turkey.

Hurriyet's well-connected columnist Abdulkadir Selvi said the attacker had been identified, with investigators focusing on the idea he is from Central Asia.

TRAINED

Mr Selvi said the attacker had been trained in street fighting in Syria and used the techniques in the attack, shooting from the hip rather than as a sniper.

The attacker had been "specially selected" to carry out the shooting, he said.

This specially trained terrorist has still not been detained and is still wandering dangerously amongst us. Hurriyet’s columnist Abdulkadir Selvi on the suspected attacker

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that the authorities had obtained fingerprint data about the attacker and expressed hope he would be "speedily" identified.

Mr Selvi wrote the priority now was to detain the assailant and neutralise the cell that apparently backed him, in order to prevent any new attack.

"This specially trained terrorist has still not been detained and is still wandering dangerously amongst us," he wrote.

He said an ISIS attack was also planned in Ankara on New Year's night but it had been prevented after eight ISIS suspects were arrested in the city.

In a separate report, HaberTurk daily said the attacker had arrived in Istanbul from the southern city of Konya with a woman and two children "so as not to attract attention". - AFP

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