Istanbul nightclub attacker begs police not to kill him
An Uzbek gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day, Abdulkadir Masharipov, told police he had to change target at the last minute to avoid heavy security and acted with direct orders from ISIS.
Masharipov had initially been told to attack the area around the central Taksim square and said his instructions came from Raqqa.
"I came to Taksim on New Year's Eve but the security measures were intense. It was not possible to carry out the attack. I was given instructions to search for a new target in the area. I toured the coast at around 10pm with a cab," the Hurriyet newspaper cited him as saying in police testimony.
"Reina looked suitable for the attack. There didn't seem to be many security measures." he added.
Masharipov was caught in a police raid late on Monday in Esenyurt, a suburb on Istanbul's western outskirts, following a two-week manhunt. He was captured with an Iraqi man and three women from Africa, one of them from Egypt.
“Don’t kill me,” Masharipov told the police in Turkish during the raid, as he was trying to hide under a bed.