Officials Say 1-Armed Man Behind Istanbul Airport Attack

They call him 'Akhmed One-Arm,' and he's a known terrorist
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2016 1:47 PM CDT
Officials Say 1-Armed Man Behind Istanbul Airport Attack
Akhmed Chatayev, seen here in 2012, is believed to have organized the attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul that killed 44 people Tuesday.   (Georgian broadcasting company Rustavi2, AP video via AP)

The attack on Istanbul's airport that left dozens dead and hundreds injured Tuesday was likely organized by a one-armed Chechen terrorist who goes by "Akhmed One-Arm," Fox News reports. A news organization in Turkey identified Ahmed Chatayev as the organizer of the terrorist attack, as did US officials, according to CNN. The news has yet to be confirmed by officials in Turkey. A report released in October said Chatayev was part of a "group of militants that was planning attacks against US and Turkish facilities.” He is or was a top ISIS soldier, and the UN says he has 130 militants directly under his command. "He's ... probably the No. 1 enemy in the Northern Caucasus region of Russia," US Rep. Michael McCaul tells CNN.

Heavy has a list of five things to know about Chatayev, including that he claims he lost his arm while being tortured in a Russian prison but may have actually lost it in combat. He spent time as a political prisoner in Georgia and has been arrested in Sweden and the Ukraine in the past decade or so. Amnesty International helped prevent Chatayev from being extradited to Russia, where he was wanted, claiming he would be tortured there. Only two of the three suicide bombers that killed 44 people and wounded more than 200 at Ataturk Airport have been identified, but US officials don't believe Chatayev was the third. The bombers have been linked to Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. And while ISIS hasn't claimed responsibility, officials believe the terrorist organization is behind the attack. (More terrorist attack stories.)

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