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TURKISH NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING: Gunman Allegedly Dressed as ‘Santa’ Kills 39, ISIS Story Doesn’t Add-up

Shawn Helton
21st Century Wire

As 2016 comes to a close, a nightclub shooting rocks Istanbul on New Year’s Eve. The attack is less than two weeks after Berlin’s known wolf  truck attack. Only time will tell if the Turkish club shooting will also turn out to be the work of a known wolf. A massive manhunt is already underway.

Let’s examine the latest details in what appears to be another terror tragedy in Turkey…

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‘GLADIO WINTER?’ – (Photo illustration 21WIRE’s Shawn Helton)

According to early unconfirmed reports, a nightclub shooting in Turkey is said to have left 35 dead, with more than 40 injured.

*UPDATE* – According to authorities, 39 people have been killed, with at least 69 wounded.

The Telegraph reports the following:

“Armed with a long-barrelled weapon, the attacker shot a police officer before storming the elite Reina club in the Ortakoy area of the city at about 1.45am.

Describing the carnage as a “terror attack”, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said 35 people had died and 40 people were wounded.”

“Unfortunately [the shooter] rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun,” Mr Sahin said.

There were believed to be more than 500 people in the club at the time. Many party-goers threw themselves into the Bosphorus in panic after the attack and efforts were underway to rescue them from the waters, NTV television said.”

ISIS ‘Takes Credit’

In the age of digital media and informational illusion, the potential for GLADIO-style manipulation though events like this has never been greater.

As is usually the routine, ‘ISIS’ eventually claimed “credit” for this unconventional attack, calling the still-at-large shooter  a ‘hero of the caliphate.’ This was reported with blind faith by the paper of record the New York Times:

“The Islamic State issued a rare claim of responsibility on Monday for the New Year’s Day attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people, describing the gunman who carried out the assault — and who has not been identified or captured — as “a hero soldier of the caliphate.”

The attack was clearly designed to incite religious warfare, as the ‘ISIS’ statement (which could have been written by anyone) continues:

“A hero soldier of the caliphate attacked one of the most famous nightclubs, where Christians celebrated their pagan holiday,”

The NY Times continued relying on its ‘pro-terrorist’ limited hangout sources – with more ISIS propaganda designed to stir fears in the west:

“a pro-Islamic State group, the Nashir Media Foundation, published the latest in a series of messages calling for attacks on clubs, markets and movie theaters.”

Rather than a suicide bomb attack, or the shooter martyring himself in jihad glory, the Turkish nightclub attack was a carefully calculated mass murder which lacked the usual religious symbolism featured in every other attack – which further indicates that this may not have been a genuine religious terrorist attack as portrayed through mass media.

NOTE: Immediately after this ‘terrorist’ event, Turkey sent its military forces deeper into Syria, and with the full blessing of the US and NATO.

Early reports suggest that one suspected shooter may have been dressed as Santa Claus. However, Turkish PM Benali Yildirim, refutes this claim. The Daily Beast adds the following details:

“Initial reports cited witnesses who saw at least one shooter dressed as Santa Claus, although the CCTV and cell phone videos that have surfaced so far do not entirely corroborate those accounts:

One shows a man wearing dark clothes firing wildly in the street, with bullets ricocheting off of cars, as he moves toward the door of the club.

Another, allegedly taken inside the club, shows a man who may have been the Santa Claus in question dressed all in white: he is wearing a knit hat with a pom-pom on top, a white cloth (or perhaps a short fake beard) over his face, and is carrying a white sack that looks almost like a pillow case as he looks around the chaotic scene in the room.

Some witnesses said bombs or grenades were thrown in addition to carnage wrought by the gunfire. 

Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said Sunday morning that the shooter was not wearing a Santa costume, but other reports suggested he may have changed his clothes at some point.”

The another NY Times article added the following. Including the generic ‘God is great’ declaration attached in the aftermath of most terror-related events:

“The gunman’s identity and motives remain unclear, but one witness said he had heard the man shout “God is great” in Arabic.”

Emre Eytan Can, 34, an investment banker from Istanbul, said he was a regular at Reina, although he was not there on New Year’s Eve.

“I guess it is a target because it’s full of high-class Turks and foreigners,” he said. “And it’s a place where people let their hair down and drink, which is not in line with Islam.”

An image capture on CCTV (seen on the left), shows a man supposedly entering the well-known Club Reina among debris and shattered glass in the background.

As often is the case in these events, eye-witness accounts have suggested the attack was committed by multiple shooters:

“The whereabouts of the attacker was still unknown and some reports suggested there were multiple attackers. Police special forces and explosives experts were  searching the club, an NTV correspondent at the scene said.”

QUESTION: Will the Turkish nightclub attacker or attackers turn out to be yet another ‘known wolf’ scenario? Will 2017 also be the year of the known wolf terror?

UPDATE: CNN began promoting this bizarre selfie of the new prime suspect in this ‘terror’ event:

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“Turkish state-run media say police provided this photo of the suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack. CNN cannot confirm when or where the photo was taken.”

Strangely, authorities gave no real context as to the source of the new “shooter selfie” where the subject appears to be posing with a characterized menacing look in video shot with a selfie stick.

Known Wolves

Berlin’s apparent Christmas market perpetrator Anis Amri, was watched by authorities for months leading up to apparently committing the apparent terror atrocity.

As previously reported at 21WIRE:

“The highly propagandized attack, supposedly “ISIS-inspired” produced yet another ‘Known Wolf‘ scenario. It was revealed that Tunisian-born Amri was inextricably tied to a terror cell completely known to security services. Directly after the attack, rather than focus on a forensic investigation, Germany instead launched its own draconian fake news witch-hunt  instead of focusing on the forensic anomalies witnessed in the Berlin attack.”

In fact, in less than 24 hours after the Berlin attack, German investigators closed down any further forensic review of the attack – will this be the case following Turkey’s latest Gladio-style attack?

Here’s a promotional video from 2012 depicting the interior of Istanbul’s Club Reina…


FLASHBACK: Istanbul Atatürk Airport Attack

Earlier in 2016, in the aftermath of Istanbul’s airport attack if you remember, we were told the incident had all the ‘hallmarks’ of an ISIS related attack, yet no official confirmation was made in the immediate hours after the attack.

Below is another look at 21WIRE‘s report regarding the bombing attack at Atatürk Airport from earlier in 2016. The article outlined the prior knowledge of the suspects involved, a US State Department travel warning (a day before the attack) as well as the identity of the apparent attacker – in less than 72 hours:

“According to the latest count, 44 people were killed during the recent terror attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. The heavily coordinated assault, is also said to have injured between 239-250 others, and is said to have been carried out by three suicide bombers.

As details of the attack are slowly drip-fed from various international media outlets, we’re told that authorities first exchanged gunfire with gunmen who opened fire after failing to pass through standard airport security barriers. The three men then separately detonated bombs in two different terminals, and as well as just outside an airport exit nearby a parking structure.

An unnamed senior official with the Turkish government has stated that the Istanbul airport attackers are believed to have arrived from Raqqa, Syria, about a month ago and that ‘ISIS leadership’ were involved in the terror siege at Atatürk International Airport.

Additionally, the alleged attackers believed to have taken part in the Istanbul attack are said to have come from Russia, namely Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Prior Knowledge

Oddly, only a day prior to this major attack, the US State Dept. issues a travel warning for Turkey, citing imminent ‘terrorist’ activity.

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More interesting still, in less than two days, investigators determined that the Atatürk attack was actually set in motion over one month ago, which has led some critics to suggest that intelligence officials had obtained knowledge prior to the tragic triple bombing in Istanbul.

In a news release from NBC, we’ve also learned that:

“Turkish police have arrested 13 people [allegedly] in connection with the deadly attack on Istanbul’s airport, officials said Thursday,” as “Anti-terrorism police carried out 16 raids in relation to the Ataturk attack overnight.”

According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the 13 suspects arrested were transferred to police headquarters, while authorities are still in pursuit of three other suspects.

It is unclear exactly how authorities have identified the alleged attack-bombers. Most press outlets are relying on Turkish reports of passports having been conveniently found at the scene.

The UK’s Mirror reports that “All three [attackers were] understood to have Russian passports in their possession, “and that “sources have also revealed its feared a second cell is about to attack imminently.”

In some ways, the Atatürk Airport attack appears to have mirrored elements of the Brussels attack that took place in late March, with evidence of a security and terror connection and a previously known cast of terrorist cells.


TERRORIST: Akhmed Chatayev (Image Source: dfwatch)

As the attack is still being pieced together, the BBC  revealed that authorities had already named the organizer of the Istanbul attack:

“The organiser of the attack has been named by Turkish media as Akhmed Chatayev [labove], a Chechen believed to have acted as an IS recruiter, who is on a US counter-terror sanctions list. His fate was not immediately clear.” 

Chatayev is believed to be a one-armed ‘Chechen separatist’ (a latter day Al Zarqawi) now working with ISIS, said a Turkish police source to NBC News.

Last October, the U.S. Treasury Department called Chatayev “commander of the Yarmouk Battalion,”the Chechen faction of ISIS, “that was planning attacks against U.S. and Turkish facilities.”

Incredibly, in less than 72 hours, investigators managed to name the organizer of the attack and knew the whereabouts of the alleged suspects whereabouts for at least a month.”

While this attack is shocking and still unresolved, Turkish leadership has opened a flood gate with their political double-dealing, as outlined in our 2017 trends and predictions article:

“Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan busy flirting with Washington and entertaining Moscow in Ankara, all the while pretending to be ‘fighting terrorism’ while simultaneously supporting ISIS and other Islamic jihadists under-the-table in Syria, and, even invading both Iraq and Syria with his Turkish military, attacking PKK and YPG Kurds along the way.”

More details to come regarding the Reina nightclub shooting in Turkey…

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READ MORE ISTANBUL ATTACK NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Istanbul Files