City Hall lit up in tribute to victims of Istanbul airport attack

A report on Thursday from Istanbul said that the death toll from the terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport has rising to 42 after a young woman died in hospital.


The scene of the blast.

The organiser of the attack has been named by Turkish media as Akhmed Chatayev, a Chechen believed to have acted as an IS recruiter, who is on a U.S. counter-terror sanctions list.

Other fatalities included two Iraqis, one Tunisian, one Chinese, one Iranian, one Ukrainian, one Jordanian and one person from Uzbekistan, a Turkish official said.

The documents show he denied knowing about the guns hidden in a spare wheel in the trunk.

Investigators’ attentions have reportedly focused on whether a Chechen extremist known to be a top lieutenant in the Islamic State group masterminded the attack.

Several news organizations reported Ahmed Chatayev, a Dagestan native who has been linked to other terrorist attacks, was the main organizer of the airport assault, but authorities did not provide confirmation.

Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan said the attack, which has sparked global condemnation, bore the “hallmark” of the jihadist group.

Private NTV television said Thursday the two Syrian nationals “were neutralized” after they ignored security forces warnings, but provided no further details.

The police raided 16 locations in three neighborhoods on both the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, rounding up 13 people suspected of having links to the Islamic State group. Prosecutors have identified two of the three suspected attackers as Russians Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol. Turkey has also been accused of not doing enough to fight IS, despite allowing the US -led coalition to use a key air base to conduct air strikes against jihadists.

Meanwhile, Germany yesterday warned its citizens to exercise particular caution if they travel to Turkey, a day after Moscow lifted restrictions on tourism to Turkey following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s apology for the downing of a Russian warplane by Ankara last November.

Kurdish rebels have carried out numerous auto bomb attacks in the past year, including the Ankara attack and another devastating bombing in the capital in March.

Those killed at the Istanbul airport had come from all over the world, but a lot of them were Turkish, including 10 airport employees, TAV Airports CEO Sani Sener said.

One of the bombers has been identified as another Chechen Osman Vadinov who came to Turkey from Raqqa in Syria in 2015.

US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was among officials making the connection with ISIL.

Mehmet Sirin Kaya was killed in the town of Lice in the mainly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir, the official said. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Ataturk airport attack within Turkey.

The rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, has also carried out suicide bombings, but usually targets security forces.


Turkish officials say they have identified the three attackers who carried out Tuesday’s terror rampage in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Turkish police detain 11 more suspects over airport attack media