Istanbul Airport Attackers Were Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz, Turkish Official Says
The three perpetrators of the deadly terror attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport were identified as a Russian national from Dagestan, a citizen of Uzbekistan and a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.
The Turkish news agency attributed the information to a prosecution source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Turkey’s Yeni Safak newspaper reported earlier that the bombers were from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Dagestan, in the North Caucasus, without naming its sources, according to Reuters.
Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim region along Russia's southern border, has turned into the epicenter of Moscow's fight against radical extremism. More than 5,000 citizens from Russia and Central Asia had travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State and other radical groups, Russia’s Federal Security Service said last year.
Yeni Safak has also said the organizer of the attack was suspected to be a man called Akhmed Chatayev, of Chechen origin. Chatayev is identified on a United Nations sanctions list as a leader in ISIS responsible for training Russian-speaking militants, and as wanted by Russian authorities, Reuters said.
Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in January that a faction of the Islamic State group led by Chatayev was plotting terror attacks in Russia and Europe.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Turkish authorities believe the Islamic State group was behind the shooting and triple suicide bombing at the airport on Tuesday night that claimed the lives of 44 people and left around 230 wounded.
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