'Selfie Video' of Istanbul Attacker Surfaces

Nightclub gunman may be Central Asian man
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2017 3:20 AM CST
'Selfie Video' of Istanbul Attacker Surfaces
Mourners in Istanbul watch as others carry the Turkish flag-draped coffin of a 23-year-old attack victim on Monday.   (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkish media on Tuesday ran a "selfie video" of a man they say is the gunman who killed 39 people, most of them foreigners, at an Istanbul nightclub. The video broadcast on Turkish television shows the alleged gunman filming himself with a cellphone at Istanbul's Taksim Square. It wasn't immediately clear if it was filmed before or after the New Year's massacre at the Reina nightclub. No details have been released as to why the authorities might think the man on the video is a suspect in the New Year's attack, or how the footage was obtained, the AP reports. ISIS claimed the attack on Monday, saying a "soldier of the caliphate" had carried out the mass shooting in response to Turkish military operations against ISIS in northern Syria.

Authorities say they're making progress on identifying the gunman, who is still at large. Several media outlets on Monday, citing unnamed security sources, said the man is believed to be from a Central Asian nation and may be part of the same cell that staged a June attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that killed 45 people. The Haberturk newspaper on Tuesday said the man is thought to be a member of China's Muslim Uighur minority who arrived in Turkey with his wife and two children in order not to raise suspicions. His family members were detained, the newspaper said. Seven of the nightclub victims were from Saudi Arabia; three each were from Lebanon and Iraq; two each were from Tunisia, India, Morocco, and Jordan. Kuwait, Canada, Israel, Syria, and Russia each lost one citizen. (More Istanbul stories.)

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