Turkish Deputy PM: “Intelligence Organization” & Terror Group Behind New Years Eve Attack
Turkish New Year’s Eve nightclub attack that claimed 39 lives was orchestrated by an ‘intelligence organisation’, says country’s deputy PM
ISIS claimed one of its gunmen carried out mass-shooting at Istanbul nightclub
Turkish deputy PM says attack was an ‘extremely planned and organised act’
Numan Kurtulmus said ‘intelligence organisation’ and terror group was involved
By Julian Robinson for MailOnline
Published: 06:57 EST, 16 January 2017 | Updated: 20:30 EST, 16 January 2017
The New Year’s Eve nightclub attack in Turkey that claimed 39 lives was orchestrated by an ‘intelligence organisation’, the country’s deputy Prime Minister has claimed.
ISIS had already claimed one of its gunmen carried out the mass-shooting at the upmarket Reina nightclub in Istanbul in revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
But Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said today: ‘It appears the Reina attack is not just a terrorist organisation’s act, but there was also an intelligence organisation involved. It was an extremely planned and organised act.’
It is not yet clear which intelligence organisation he believed was involved.
His comments come after Turkey has arrested two Chinese nationals of Uighur origin in connection with the slaughter.
The suspects, named as Omar Asim and Abuliezi Abuduhamiti, were arrested on charges of ‘being members of a terrorist organisation’, of ‘purchasing unlicensed firearms’ and ‘being accomplices to the murder of 39 people’, state-run Anadolu Agency cited a prosecutor as saying.
A witness in the central Anatolian city of Konya had reportedly seen Asim with the Reina nightclub attacker, the agency said late on Friday. The gunman remains at large despite a massive manhunt.
Officials said last week the attacker was likely a Turkic Uighur, with authorities reportedly looking into the possible existence of a cell, including other jihadists from Central Asia.
Uighurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims from the restive Xinjiang region of far-western China.
The killer, reportedly known by the code name Ebu Muhammed Horasani, slipped into the night after mowing down 39 revellers at the Reina nightclub just 75 minutes into 2017.