Turkish police have identified an alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant who attacked a famous nightclub in Istanbul as Uzbek national Abdulkadir Masharipov.
The attacker arrived in Istanbul from the Central Anatolian province of Konya on Dec. 15, 2016, to stage the attack on Jan. 1.
According to recently obtained information, an ISIL cell in Konya that consists of Uzbeks continued to provide logistical support to Masharipov, whose code name is “Ebu Muhammed Horasani.”
The attacker remains on the run after escaping the Reina nightclub despite the massive deployment of police to prevent attacks targeting New Year’s celebrations.
Masharipov is accused of killing 39 people and wounding 65 others at the club, although some eyewitnesses have suggested there was more than one attacker.
According to the investigation carried out by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, it was determined that Masharipov has been in Turkey since 2011, daily Milliyet reported. Police have now begun focusing on the ISIL militant’s activities in Turkey in the past.
Meanwhile, new footage of the attack has emerged from inside the Reina nightclub. Masharipov is seen being kicked by a person as he was trying to hide among the wounded right before leaving the nightclub, daily Hürriyet reported.
In the footage recorded at 1:20 a.m. on Jan. 1, people are seen running around in panic, as well as trying to drag the wounded out of harm’s way. Others are seen trying to hide under their tables as the ISIL militant continues shooting.
At around 1:26 a.m., Masharipov is seen taking of his coat and beret. He then takes off his shirt and is seen with another shirt and trousers. He passes by people lying on the floor and then returns.
Masharipov, who was carrying a stun grenade, is seen being kicked by someone who is trying to hide at 1:27 a.m. After being kicked, the stun grenade in Masharipov’s hand explodes, resulting in wounds to his hand.
Masharipov remained motionless on the floor for about 10 or 15 seconds as a result of the explosion, but soon regained consciousness before departing the nightclub, according to the footage.