The mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve was carried out professionally with the involvement of a foreign intelligence organization, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said today at a press conference.
“It appears the Reina attack was not just a terrorist organization’s act, but there was also an intelligence organization involved. It was an extremely well planned and organized act,” Kurtulmuş said during the interview.
Meanwhile, Istanbul police found 150,000 US dollars in a raid at an address in the Silivri district of Istanbul. Police suspect that the money was the payout amount to be given to the assailant of the Reina attack, daily Hürriyet reported.
Police reportedly determined a house in Silivri which was used by the suspected attacker in the Reina attack, Ebu Muhammed Horasani, the code name of Uzbek Islamic State Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militant Abdulgadir Masharipov, according to suspects’ testimony.
Police raided the address and found 150,000 dollars in the house on Jan. 15.
Police also claimed the money was the amount to be given to Masharipov, who was allegedly unable to obtain the money due to the intense police hunt.
Security forces said the attacker was hired and conducted the attack for money, not for ideological reasons.
Meanwhile, police reportedly revealed the connections of 20 suspects who were detained in the Aegean province of İzmir with alleged links to the Reina attacker, one of whom was the Istanbul leader of ISIL.
Police have focused on the possibility that the Reina attacker and ISIL’s regional leader could be in the same cell after the investigation of phone conversations. Although they are not revealing what foreign intelligence agency was involved in the attack, the Turkish official stated the attacker and his group were guided and assisted by a foreign intelligence service.