10 arrested over ISIL attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul

10 arrested over ISIL attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul

10 arrested over ISIL attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul

AFP photo

Ten people have been arrested in connection to an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack on a famous Istanbul nightclub in the early hours of the new year.

Ilyas Mamasharipov, who allegedly ordered the attack on Reina on Jan. 1, which claimed the lives of 39 people, while wounding 65 others, was among those arrested.

Fourteen people were detained on Jan. 31 for allegedly aiding and abetting ISIL militant Abdulkadir Masharipov, who confessed to pulling the trigger, before being referred to a court with a demand for their arrest. Ten people were arrested for “being members of an armed terrorist organization,” and “attempting to abolish the constitutional order,” while four others were released on probation.

The prosecutor also sought Mamasharipov’s arrest for “aiding intentional killing 39 times.” 

Mamasharipov is allegedly the aide of an ISIL emir with the codename Hoca Aka, who was determined to be the militant in Raqqa who gave the order to Masharipov to attack Reina. It was also revealed that Mamasharipov and Masharipov stayed in the same house 20 days before the attack with their families and that the former was involved in the planning of the attack. 

A tablet involving encrypted voice messages belonging to Masharipov was found in a search carried out in Mamasharipov’s house in Başakşehir. 

According to the newly obtained information, Mamasharipov’s wife, Marhaba Abduloeva, also knew of the planned attack. Abduloeva said in her testimony that Masharipov told his wife to stay out of sight in order “not to be harmed” on the night of the attack.

Another suspect, Khikmatillo Zokirov, was determined to be in contact with ISIL militant Osman Sodirov, who goes by the code name “Baro.” Sodirov is currently being sought on allegations that he played an active role in conducting the attack. 

Doulaiti Maimaitiali, another suspect who was sent to court with a demand for his arrest, was accused of hiding Masharipov in his house after a cigarette package with Masharipov’s blood stains was found in the dwelling.

Another suspect, Abdulkeremu Maimaitibudula, is accused of giving information to the jihadist group and facilitating Masharipov’s travels. 

Police also found military camouflage in a search on the house of Firuze Kasım, a suspect with the code name “Umm Havva,” in Başakşehir.  

Previously, a total of 11 women of foreign nationality over their links to the Reina attack on Jan. 26.

At least 39 people, including a police officer, were killed when Masharipov opened fire at the Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood at about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Masharipov was captured in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul late on Jan. 16.