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A file photo of Ahmed Chataev, a Chechen national suspected of being the mastermind of Istanbul terror arracks

Turkey reportedly detains 24 in search for alleged Chechen terror mastermind

The Levant News — Turkey reportedly arrested 11 foreigners in raids early this morning, bringing to 24 the number of people detained in connection with Tuesday’s Istanbul airport bombing. Police have identified Chechen Russian Ahmed Chatayev as the Islamic State’s leader in Istanbul and the mastermind behind the attack.
Chatayev is also accused of organizing earlier terror attacks at Sultanahmet and Taksim in Istanbul. Other information provided by security sources claim a five-man IS team entered Turkey from the IS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria. They reportedly worked out of three safe houses rented in different parts of Istanbul.
Chatayev escaped from a Russian prison in 2003 and is nicknamed “Ahmed One-Arm” because he was amputated to avoid the spread of gangrene. The identification of Chatayev as a prime suspect could increase tensions between Russia and the European Union, whose European Court of Human Rights blocked his extradition from Ukraine in 2010 on terrorism charges because of concerns Russia would torture him.
Meanwhile Turkey’s Minister of Interior Efkan Ala disclosed that 19 of the 43 people killed in the attack were foreign nationals. The Istanbul governor’s office has announced that 157 people have been discharged from hospitals; some 80 others are still undergoing treatment, 25 of them in intensive care units.
Source: Al-monitor

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