- Gunman massacred 39 people and injured dozens more in Istanbul club attack
- Shooter is captured on CCTV handing over identification documents at a bureau
- Police investigators say the killer is believed to have originated from Kyrgyzstan
- Detectives know ID but will not release details in fear of hindering investigation
- Witnesses and terrorism experts believe the gunman was a ‘professional’ killer
- Reports say after massacre he got off passenger ferry at port town of Yalova
Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Global Editor In Istanbul For Mailonline
14:41 EST, 2 January 2017
19:02 EST, 2 January 2017
Menacing selfies of the man suspected to be the ISIS killer who murdered 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub have been leaked.
The suspect is pictured wearing a heavy hooded jacket and staring coldly into the camera, on a street thought to be just off Taksim Square, before the massacre on New Year’s Eve.
The chilling images were released after 12 people were arrested by Turkish police in relation to the attack at the exclusive Reina club.
Scroll down for more video
Menacing photos of the man suspected to be the ISIS gunman who murdered 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub have been leaked
CCTV footage believed to show the gunman handing over identification documents at a border kiosk, has also been revealed.
The suspect, dressed in a black jacket with a red hood over a black top, is shown handing over papers before entering the country at an unidentified date and location.
According to investigators, the suspect is thought to originate from Kyrgyzstan.
Other footage also reports to show the fugitive arguing with taxi drivers at an unknown location.
Again, it is not known if the picture was taken before or after the nightclub attack.
The CCTV footage is the latest desperate attempt by the authorities to trace the brutal terrorist after fruitless searches of business addresses and homes of eight people, most of whom were from Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The video appears to match three images released by police earlier today, in which Turkey’s most wanted man seems to be pictured on different CCTV footage leaning against a counter, wearing the same clothing.
CCTV: New footage has been released of the suspected ISIS fanatic who carried out the Istanbul nightclub massacre on New Year’s Eve
The tantalising images are among the first pieces of evidence showing the killer, who managed to spirit himself away from the carnage and evade a massive manhunt for two days, despite having left clues like his jacket and weapon at the scene.
Few details have been made public about his identity. Earlier today, Turkish police claimed to know his name, nationality and associates – but said they would not to disclose this information in order to protect their investigation.
The gunman has consistently been described as ‘professional’, ’highly trained’ and ‘focused’ by eyewitnesses and analysts, however. Today, responsibility for the attack was claimed by ISIS.
Sefa Boydas, a professional footballer who was inside the nightclub at the time of the attack, told MailOnline: ‘He looked relaxed and was very precise in the way he shot, like a professional. Very focused. He shot people from about 10 or 15 metres away.’
Pictured: The moment the ISIS fanatic opened fire outside the Reina nightclub in Istanbul
Victim: Club bouncer and mother-of-one Hatice Koc’un, who was among the 39 people gunned down on New Year’s Eve
Captain Abdullah Ağar, a terrorist expert who analysed footage of the attack taken by security cameras, described the suspect as ‘highly trained’.
‘[He is] stable, practical, knowing how to get the required result, cold-blooded and expert’, he told Turkish media.
‘The terrorist is very good at rapid firing. It takes thousands of bullets to create such carnage. He has carried out such an attack as well as in real conflict situations.
‘He has no hesitation about shooting innocent people. He is a complete killer, experienced in close combat and fighting in residential areas.’
This afternoon, the towns of Yalova and Bursa were both targeted by police after members of the public claimed to have spotted the nightclub murderer.
Murdered: Also named as a victim of the ISIS atrocity was 25-year-old Lebanese man Ilyas Vardini (pictured)
Slain: Another of the victims was a young fashion designer from India called Khushi Shah
The first sighting took place in the port town of Yalova, where the suspect was allegedly seen disembarking from a passenger ferry after crossing about 40 miles across the Sea of Marmara.
He then was reportedly seen hitchhiking to Bursa, a distance of 45 miles.
But these operations have also produced no results. Earlier, investigators released the taxi driver who drove the terrorist to the Reina nightclub after several hours of questioning, leaving them with even fewer leads.
Tonight, Turkey’s most wanted man remains at large in a city on high alert as an official state of emergency threatens to stretch into its third day.
On the trail of the ISIS killer
Police were today investigating claims that the terrorist suspect in the Istanbul massacre took a ‘sea bus’ to Yalova, then hitchhiked a ride in a car.
Security was increased in Yalova and Bursa after a number of reports of sightings by Turkish people.
Yalova is a city of 100,000 located in northwestern Turkey, near the eastern coast of the Sea of Marmara, and Bursa is Turkey’s fourth city with a population of 2.3 million.
Map: A sighting of the gunman was reported in port town of Yalova, where he was disembarking from a passenger ferry, and he was then alleged to have been seen hitchhiking to Bursa, 45 miles away
The gendarmerie and police teams launched a massive search in these areas to find the alleged car of the suspect, according to reports.
Separately, police in Istanbul detained eight suspects on Monday over alleged links to the deadly New Year terror attack at nightclub Reina.
Before the attack, the gunman is believed to have taken a cab from the Zeytinburnu low income district, avoiding CCTV on public transport.
He got out of the cab due to heavy traffic close to the club and walked for four minutes to reach Reina.
The first footage of the attack was recorded at 01:20am, when the attacker is seen walking and shooting towards Reina, causing one person to fall to the ground.
Pictured: Turkish anti-riot police stand guard in front of the Reina night club this morning
He is then seen shooting the guards, who were unarmed due to restrictions on them carrying weapons. The second footage was recorded at 01:23am inside Reina, apparently after the attack, when nobody can be seen standing, according to DHA news agency.
According to specialists who examined the footage, the ISIS militant looks professionally trained in using weapons.
He can be seen wearing a green shirt, a dark pair of trousers and black boots, firing his long-barrelled weapon at people’s upper bodies. Over the course of the attack he changed six chargers and fired over 180 bullets, according to investigators.
It is still unclear how many minutes the attacker spent inside the club before fleeing.
He went upstairs after entering Reina and started firing on revellers, before going downstairs to continue shooting.
Guard: This morning armed police formed a ring of steel around the nightclub in Istanbul
Grief: Crying relatives gather around the coffin of one of the victims of the Turkish nightclub massacre ahead of the funeral
According to witnesses, he also shot people lying on the ground in their head.
He then went to the Reina kitchen and stayed there for around 13minutes before changing his clothes, taking off his coat, and escaping from the scene amid continued panic.
He also cleaned his weapon before leaving the scene.
The killer then got in a cab and got out in nearby Kurucesme – an affluent neighbourhood – after telling the driver he had no money to pay.
Investigators found a total of 500 Turkish Liras (£115) in the pocket of the coat that he left in Reina and police are investigating whether he was wearing two coats when he entered the club.
A spokesman at the Kyrgyzstan embassy in Turkey said his government are checking claims that the gunman may be a citizen of the former Soviet republic.