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Russian Mastermind in Istanbul Attack Named — Reports

Turkish flags, with the control tower in the background, fly at half mast at the country's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk.

Turkish police have identified a Russian man as the alleged organizer of Tuesday’s Istanbul airport attacks, the Yeni Safak news website reported Friday.

Chechen Ahmed Chataev has been accused of orchestrating the assault, which left 41 people dead and injured more than 230.

Local security services currently believe that eight men took part in the attack on behalf of the Islamic State.

Turkish media reported Thursday that another Russian national, Osman Vadinov, was amongst three terrorists who died at the airport, detonating suicide bombs after opening fire at crowds.

A Kyrgyz and an Uzbek national are also alleged to have died, Yeni Safak reported. One terrorist was detained by police, while a further three are still being sought.

Russia's law enforcement agencies have denied the involvement of a Chechen native in the attack.

“No one called Osman Vadinov has never lived in Chechnya. It is not a Chechen name or surname,” a source inside North Caucasus Federal District law enforcement told the Interfax news agency.

Russian security forces have allegedly been pursuing Chataev since 2003, the Meduza news website reported Friday. Chataev is believed to have traveled to fight in Syria in 2015, and was put on the U.S. government’s list of wanted terrorists in October as an Islamic State recruiter.

Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee have previously described Chataev as the group's main recruiter of terrorists sent to Western Europe and Russia, Meduza reported.

The Islamic State is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

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