Authorities have determined that the phone number of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacker who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on Jan. 1 was registered in the cellphone of another ISIL suspect, who appeared for in a trial the first time in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on July 10.
Ahti Şam Hussain, the 21 year-old suspect of Pakistani origin, was detained in a police operation on Jan. 11 in Antalya’s Finike district along with another suspect named Faisal Muhammed Latif, again of Pakistani origin.
The two suspects, along with other four suspects of East Turkistan origin who were detained in a separate ISIL-related operation earlier, appeared in the 8th Antalya Heavy Penal Court on July 10.
The indictment prepared against the suspects indicated that Ahti Şam Hussain’s mobile phone included on its list the phone number of Uzbek-origin Abdulkadir Masharipov, who killed New Year’s Eve revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, under the code name of “Esin.”
Ahti Şam Hussain said previously in his testimony to police that he and his friend Faisal Muhammed Latif had come to Turkey in a group of five to six people. He said he got hold of his mobile phone number from a Pakistani in Istanbul, did not know the Reina attacker Masharipov, and denied the charges against him.
The other suspect Faisal Muhammed Latif said in his testimony that they had illegally entered Turkey last year and had come to the district of Finike upon recommendations.
Latif said he did not know the Reina attacker but knew of someone called “Esin.”
“This person worked in Antalya before. He was 1.70 meters tall, white-skinned, skinny and without a beard,” Latif said.
On July 10, Hussain and Latif could not give their testimony to the court as there was no translator present. The other four suspects from East Turkistan, meanwhile, denied the allegations.
The court adjourned the trial to a later date.(HÜRRİYET DAILYNEWS)