Suspect confesses to Istanbul massacre 'on behalf of IS' - Turkey

Suspect confesses to Istanbul massacre 'on behalf of IS' - Turkey

"A total of $197,000 in cash, two guns and clips, two drones, and sim cards, and many other materials were also seized", Sahin continued. CNN quotes him as saying, "The terrorist actually said that he did it".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the arrest and congratulated the security forces. From inside the suspect's house, Rudaw's Rawin Sterk said, "The Turkish police had rented an apartment next to the attacker's apartment before he was arrested last night".

The suspect was taken to a local hospital to undergo medical checks before being transferred to police headquarters for questioning.

The city's governor Vasip Sahin informed regarding the latest development after the apprehension of the suspect who was earlier identified as AbdulKadir Mashripov.

For more on the suspect, TRT World's Soraya Lennie is at the apartment where he was captured.

IS has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the first hours of January 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria.

The New Year's Eve attack was the third on Turkey in the past year linked to Central Asians with admitted links to Islamic State extremists.

"Together with the terrorist, an Iraqi man was detained as well as three women from various countries - from Egypt and from Africa", Sahin said. On 12 January Masharipov's wife and his one-year-old daughter were also stopped and detained by police.

Turkish police are still determining what Masharipov was planning to do with the cache of weapons and equipment, but ISIS is known to have used drones to drop bombs on civilian targets before. He at present has been taken into protective custody. The police had found his location three days earlier but made a decision to track him to identify his contacts.

The victims included people from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey.

The attack, just 75 minutes into 2017, rocked Turkey, which had already been shaken by a string of attacks in 2016 blamed on jihadists and Kurdish militants that left hundreds dead.