New video, new insight into Istanbul terror attack

Last Updated Jan 3, 2017 6:47 AM EST

ISTANBUL -- The clearest video yet to emerge of the Istanbul nightclub attacker has come from his own phone. The clip shows him walking the streets of Istanbul, pointing the camera back at himself in selfie mode on what appears to have been a possible reconnaissance mission.

Turkish media identified the suspect as a national of Kyrgyzstan, but Turkish authorities have denied the man shown in a widely circulated passport photo is the gunman.

It’s unclear when the selfie cell phone video was taken or how it was found, but Turkish media say it was leaked by investigators.  

Other video being run by Turkish media appears to show the suspect being dropped off by a taxi after the attack on Club Reina early Sunday morning.

Monday night, police raided an apartment near Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, having been lead to the area by the taxi driver -- and the video of the suspect getting out of his car.

The clean-shaven shooter, also seen exchanging money in Istanbul on blurry surveillance video, remains at large.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the gunman was avenging Turkey’s role in Syria’s bloody civil war. But it’s still unclear to what extent, if any, the gunman was directed or inspired by the militant group.

Turkish media reported Tuesday that police have questioned the suspect’s wife, who claimed she had no knowledge of the attack or her husband’s apparent ISIS sympathies until she learned about the carnage from news reports.

The woman, who has not been identified, was interviewed at a home the family had rented in the central Turkish town of Konya, after arriving from Kyrgyzstan in November, according to newspaper reports.

An ISIS statement said the nightclub was targeted because it was a place where “Christians celebrate their pagan holiday.”

Some 600 people were inside the club -- a hotspot for tourists and Turks -- as the clock struck midnight to ring in the New Year. Just an hour later, the gunman struck the venue.

In just seven minutes he killed 39 people, and then slipped away in the ensuing chaos.

Video shows heavily armed officers evacuating club goers, some with blood stains on their clothes. One person cries out, “they’re dead.” Graphic images of bodies piled up inside the club have also emerged.

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The State Department has confirmed that Jacob Raak was the only U.S. citizen injured in the attack on an Istanbul nightclub.

CBS Philadelphia

Jacob Raak, of Delaware, was among the almost people 70 injured. He was shot in the leg.

Police say the gunman acted alone, but at least 14 people have now been detained for questioning, including two foreign nationals reportedly picked up by police at in the international terminal of Ataturk airport on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how many of those who had been detained remained in custody later Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Vigliotti says Istanbul remained under heavy guard, as security forces try to put a name to the face seen in the videos.

Some ISIS sympathisers online claim the gunman has already escaped across the border into Syria.