Seventeen people have been arrested as of Tuesday in connection with the triple suicide-bomber terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport, Istanbul’s international airport, last week. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that more attacks will continue if the “Caucasus countries” do not put an end to jihadi recruiting.
The majority of those arrested were foreigners, believed to have ties to the Islamic State. As of Tuesday, the total number of people arrested in relation to the attack was thirty. The suicide bombing left 44 people dead and 240 wounded last week. This terror attack is the latest in a series of attacks by the Islamic State during the holy month of Ramadan.
“The incident is of course completely within the framework of Daesh [Islamic State], a process conducted with their methods,” Erdogan asserted. “There are people from Dagestan, from Kyrgyzstan, from Tajikistan. Unfortunately, people from neighboring northern Caucasus countries are involved in this business.”
Last week, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported that the three bombers were all Russian passport carriers originating from Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The lead organizer of the attack has been identified as Akhmed Chatayev, a Chechen.
Russia, who has had its own problems with Islamic terrorism and has had thousands of nationals join ISIS, has been at odds for many years with Turkey. The frosty relationship stems from Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and last year’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet that had crossed into Turkish airspace. Since then, the tension between the two countries has been on the rise, although it seemed recently that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had show signs of cooperation in regard to the Islamic State.
According to Breitbart News, “There has been speculation that Akhmed Chatayev, a Chechen extremist known to to be a top lieutenant in the IS militant group, may have masterminded the attack, but Turkish officials haven’t confirmed his involvement.”