Reina attacker escaped with his son: Police sources
Toygun Atilla – ISTANBULAn Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant who attacked a famous nightclub at the heart of Istanbul escaped with his son after the attack, according to police sources.
“Ebu Muhammed Horasani,” the code name of Uzbek ISIL militant Abdulgadir Masharipov, who is accused of killing a total of 39 people and wounding 65 others at the Reina nightclub in Ortaköy on Jan. 1, went to his home in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district after the attack and took his son before escaping, the sources said.
Police raided a house in Istanbul’s Maltepe district and detained Masharipov’s wife, whose identity has been kept hidden. Previous reports stated that his wife and his family members had been detained by police after the attack.
“I learned about the attack from TV. I didn’t know that my husband was an ISIL militant, let alone a sympathizer,” media reports had quoted his wife as saying.
According to newly obtained information, Masharipov’s wife was detained in Maltepe late on Jan. 11, while his 1.5-year-old daughter was taken under protection. Police said Masharipov arrived in the Central Anatolian province of Konya with his two children at the beginning of 2016.
The ISIL militant rented a house in Istanbul’s Başakşehir toward the end of December 2016 with his family, according to investigations. The militant said goodbye to his wife late on Dec. 31, 2016, and left the house.
After staging the attack on the nightclub, the militant went to a house in Zeytinburnu, where his wife and children were brought to. Masharipov then took his 4-year-old son and went missing.
“We said goodbye to each other and he left the house,” Masharipov’s wife told the anti-terror police during her interrogation. The police are trying to locate the people who possibly helped the ISIL militant and ISIL cells in Istanbul in light of the information given by Masharipov’s wife.
Previous reports have said that after attacking Reina, Masharipov went to Zeytinburnu with a taxi and asked workers at a local Uighur restaurant to give money to the driver. Uighurs were among those detained after the attack, while the owner of the restaurant, identified as Şemsettin Dursun, has denied any connection to the attack.