Today (Monday January 2nd) ISIS took responsibility for the terror attack in Istanbul last week. The Aamaq News Agency which belongs to ISIS said the attack was carried out by a “heroic soldier of the caliphate” who attacked the nightclub “where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.” He fired an automatic rifle and also detonated hand grenades in “revenge for God's religion and in response to the orders” of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The group described Turkey as “the servant of the cross” as opposed to a real Muslim country. ISIS also suggested the attack was in retaliation for Turkish military offensives against it in Syria and Iraq. “We let infidel Turkey know that the blood of Muslims that is being shed by its airstrikes and artillery shelling will turn into fire on its territories,” the statement said.
Police found similarities between the nightclub shooting and the high-casualty suicide bomb and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport in June. They are now investigating whether the same ISIS cell could have carried out both attacks. The gunman, who disappeared amid the chaos of the attack, remains at large.
Istanbul anti-terrorism squads took eight people into custody to be questioned at Istanbul's main police headquarters. No further information on the suspects is available.