Abdulkadir Masharipov, the prime suspect in a Jan. 1 massacre at the Reina nightclub in İstanbul who was arrested in a police operation on Monday night, has said he has no regrets over the attack, which claimed the lives of a total of 39 people.
“I have no regrets. I would do it again,” Masharipov said during his questioning by the police according to a report in the Hürriyet daily on Friday.
Masharipov was apprehended in a joint operation conducted by the İstanbul police and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in İstanbul’s Esenyurt district.
Codenamed Ebu Muhammed El Horasani Abdulkav, Masharipov was born in Uzbekistan in 1983 and was trained as a militant in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and later joined Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Masharipov reportedly received the order to carry out the attack from Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIL in Syria through a smart phone messaging application known as Telegram.
Turkish police reportedly identified the ISIL militant who gave Masharipov the automatic weapon he used in the attack and who took his four-and-a-half-year-old son.
The ISIL militant reportedly told Masharipov that he needed to take his son because he could cause trouble for him during the planning stages of the attack, adding that his son would be returned to him when Masharipov was able to leave İstanbul.