'ISIS Killer' is the Prime Suspect in Istanbul Nightclub Attack Where 39 People Were Killed
January 1, 2017
Fifteen of the dead are believed to be foreign nationals, including one Israeli woman and people from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon and Libya. A further 69 people are thought to have been wounded in the attack, which happened in the early hours of this morning.
- 39 people were killed when gunman screamed 'Allahu Akbar' and opened fire in an Istanbul nightclub.
- Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un was working at the Reina nightclub and was killed.
- 19-year-old Israeli Leanne Nasser who was on holiday with her friends also died.
- Turkish intelligence believe suspect is member of East Turkestan branch of ISIS.
- President Erdogan denounced attack calling it an 'attempt to destabilise Turkey'.
- Club owner Mehmet Kocarslan said security had been stepped up after warnings.
- Celebrity haunt is popular with stars including Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.
Turkish police have released the first picture of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack. The man, as yet unnamed, is described as being from East Turkestan, Afghanistan or Chechnya, a region of western China that is predominantly Muslim.
Turkish intelligence services reportedly believe that he is a member of the East Turkestan branch of ISIS. His exact nationality is unknown.
The gunman is seen casually strolling into the nightclub holding the weapon before carrying out the killing spree while reportedly shouting 'Allahu Akbar'.
The first victims of the massacre have been named, including a female security guard and an Israeli Arab tourist.
Among the victims was a 27-year-old female private security guard from northeast Turkey. Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un was working at the Reina nightclub on the night of the attack as Turkish law requires a woman guard to be present to search female clubbers.
Her family identified her body at the morgue today, Turkish media reported, and are transporting it to the family home at western city of Balikesir.
The day before the attack, Koc'un, whose daughter is three years old, shared pictures of herself on social media wearing sunglasses and kissing the Turkish flag.
Meanwhile a 19-year-old Israeli woman has also been named as among the dead. Leanne Nasser was on holiday with three female friends, all from the Arab-majority village of Tira in northern Israel.
One of her friends was also injured, while the other two were psychologically traumatised but physically unharmed, Israeli officials told MailOnline. They will return to Israel tonight, when the body will also be repatriated.
Four other Israeli women were also caught up in the attack and were Arab citizens of the Jewish State, an Israeli government source has told MailOnline. They were visiting Turkey to celebrate the New Year despite security concerns.
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