Mastermind Behind Istanbul Terrorist Attack Revealed

The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security has revealed whom he believes is the mastermind behind the recent terrorist attack in an airport in Turkey.

On June 28th, three men armed with rifles and explosive devices staged a terrorist attack at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey. One of the men was killed by a security officer, but unbeknownst to those around him, he was wearing an explosive device on his belt that was detonated after he got shot. The other two terrorists had detonated their explosive devices themselves.

Altogether, the three armed terrorists killed at least 44 people – 47 if you want to count the terrorists themselves – and injured 230 more.

According to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) – the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security – the mastermind has been identified as Chechen “extremist” Akhmed Chatayev. From the Associated Press:

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Turkish and Swedish media have also identified Chatayev as the organizer, although Turkish authorities have not confirmed his involvement. Sabah newspaper, which is close to the government, said police had launched a manhunt to catch him.

McCaul said it is unclear where Chatayev is, but he is known to have served as a top lieutenant in the Islamic State group’s war ministry.

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Islamic State group is suspected, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated Friday that IS was “most probably” behind it. The group has boasted of having cells in Turkey, among other countries.

“They have no connection to Islam. Their place is in hell,” Erdogan said, speaking in Istanbul following Friday prayers. “These people were innocent; they were children, women, elderly … They embarked on a journey unaware, and came face to face with death.”

Authorities said the three suicide bombers in the attack – which echoed the carnage earlier this year at the Brussels airport – were from Russia and the Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. They did not provide further details on their identities.

In spite of these findings by the House Committee on Homeland Security, no group – including ISIS – has claimed responsibility.

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Philip Hodges

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