‘Foreign secret service may be behind Istanbul massacre’

Ankara, Jan 5 (IANS) Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said that he believes “foreign intelligence services” could be behind the Istanbul nightclub attack that claimed 39 lives, as it was carried out way too “professionally”, the media reported.

“I am of the opinion that it’s not possible for the perpetrator to have carried out such an attack without any support. It seems like a secret service thing. All these things are being assessed,” Kurtulmus told the Hurriyet daily on Wednesday.

However, he declined to go into details about which secret services he was referring to.

Kurtulmus expressed concern that with support from external intelligence other potential attackers could evade Turkish security radars.

“As they are supported by some organisations with intelligence capacity, they can conduct terror acts in the way your security system may not even be able to think of,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that authorities managed to identify the Islamic State (IS) militant behind the Istanbul’s Reina nightclub.

While refusing to release the identity of the shooter, Cavusoglu said that “efforts to capture him continue”, and added that the house where the suspect lived “has been searched.”

The Turkish media identified the attacker’s code name in jihadist circles as “Abu Muhammed Horasani”.

Initial police reports suggested that the jihadist was from Kyrgyzstan.