How often are professional assassins caught

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This content was published on January 17, 2017 - 9:41 am (Keystone-SDA)

A Uzbek who was arrested in Istanbul on Tuesday night confessed to the attack on the Reina nightclub on New Year's Eve. "The terrorist confessed to his crime," Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told journalists on Tuesday.

Sahin identified him as a 34-year-old native Uzbek. "He was trained in Afghanistan and speaks four languages. He is a well trained terrorist," said the governor.

The man was caught during an operation on Tuesday night in Istanbul's Esenyurt district. Around 2,000 police officers and employees of the Turkish secret service MIT were involved, as Sahin said. In total, more than 150 addresses have been searched and 50 suspects arrested since the attack a good two weeks ago.

According to Sahin, $ 197,000, as well as two guns and magazines, were confiscated from the Esenyurt apartment. He denied media reports that the suspect's four-year-old son was in the apartment. Sahin also said the suspect "entered Turkey illegally" across the eastern border.

Multiple arrests

Together with the man, three women from Egypt, Senegal and Somalia were arrested, as well as a Kyrgyz woman in whose apartment the alleged assassin lived. Turkish media published pictures showing him with blood on his face and shirt while a police officer grabbed him by the neck. The television showed him being led away with his head bowed.

The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack on the chic nightclub on the Bosporus, which left 39 dead. It was the first time that the extremist group claimed responsibility for a major attack in Turkey, even if several attacks had already been attributed to it. It is also very rare for an IS attacker to be caught alive.

According to Turkish media reports, the suspect had already been under surveillance for three days, but the security forces had waited before accessing the suspect in order to identify possible accomplices. The assassin is said to have previously fought for IS in Syria and therefore proceeded very professionally in the attack, in which mainly Arab tourists were killed.

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