Turkish FM: Identity of Istanbul Terrorist Established

ANKARA (Reuters) -
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Turkey has established the identity of the terrorist who killed 39 people in an Istanbul attack on Sunday, its foreign minister said, and further arrests were made on Wednesday, but the terrorist himself remains at large.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

“The identity of the person carrying out the attack in Ortakoy has been determined,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency. He gave no details.

The terrorist appeared to have been well versed in guerrilla warfare and may have trained in Syria, a security source and a newspaper report said on Tuesday.

The Haberturk newspaper said police investigations revealed that the terrorist had entered Turkey from Syria and went to the central city of Konya in November, traveling with his wife and two children so as not to attract attention.

Police detained 27 people who had traveled from Konya, including women and children, as part of the attack investigation in the western city of Izmir on Wednesday, the Dogan news agency said. Video footage showed some of them being brought out of an apartment building to waiting vehicles.

Anadolu reported on Tuesday that 14 people had been detained over the attack while NTV reported that two foreign nationals had been detained at Istanbul’s main airport.