US denies reports of particular intelligence before attack at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub
AFP photoThe U.S. Embassy in Ankara has announced that it did not have information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina nightclub, which was the scene of a deadly terror attack that killed 39 people and injured 65 others early on Jan. 1.
The Embassy said in statement that it issued a general holiday season threat warning for Turkey and various parts of Europe on Dec. 22, advising its citizens to “avoid large crowds or crowded places when possible, especially in locations where Westerners, tourists, and expatriates are known to frequent, including but not limited to restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and transportation hubs.”
“Contrary to rumors circulating in social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club, and the U.S. Government did not warn Americans to stay away from specific venues or neighborhoods,” it said.
The Embassy also recalled that the agencies of both countries were consulting closely in the anti-terror fight and would continue to cooperate.
It noted that the White House and the Embassy categorically condemned the “heinous” attack and sent their condolences to all those affected including its own citizens.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack late on Jan. 1.
Guterres “extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Turkey and of those countries whose nationals were impacted,” read a statement from his office.
The U.N. Security Council had earlier condemned “in the strongest terms the heinous and barbaric terrorist attack.”
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” it added, urging member states to cooperate with Turkey.
In addition, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also condemned the Reina attack.
“We have faced a saddening incident in Istanbul on the first day of the New Year. The killing of innocent and defenseless people is a subject that should be condemned in every aspect. This incident has shown that as long as we do not object to terror and eliminate it, it will mercilessly addict everyone like a virus,” Rouhani said.