Report: Turkey arrests alleged nightclub attack mastermind

Author: AP
Turkish police providing security patrol in central Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, the main shopping road of Istanbul, on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2016. AP PHOTO/EMRAH GUREL

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) A Turkish media report says authorities have arrested a man they believe is the mastermind behind the New Year’s nightclub shooting in Istanbul that killed 39 people.

The private Dogan news agency, citing officials from the prosecutors’ office in Burdur, southern Turkey, on Tuesday identified the suspect only by his initials, A.S., and said he is a French national with an ethnic Turkish background. On him, authorities discovered a contract to rent an apartment that was used by Abdulkadir Masharipov, who carried out the attack, the agency said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Masharipov, an Uzbek citizen born in 1983, was caught on Jan. 16, after evading police for more than two weeks.

Last week, he was charged with attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, membership of an armed terror group and murder.

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