Two alleged members of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have been detained by Turkish police in Istanbul on suspicion of preparing terrorist attack on the New Year’s Eve, Sabah newspaper’s website reported on December 7.

The suspects reportedly turned out to be citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.   Sabah notes that a few hours before the New Year they tried to hide from the police officers who were following them in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district.  However, the police reportedly stopped their car, shooting through the tires.  

The men were detained.  It is reported that the national of Tajikistan with initials K.Z.I. also known as Abu Maimun, is an improvised explosives expert within the ISIS terror group.   It is established that he has taught members of the terror group as well as has conducted propaganda activities in social networks in favor of the ISIS terror group.

Abu Maimun was reportedly taken into custody and a deportation procedure has been initiated against the citizen of Uzbekistan.  

According to data from the Turkish police, the militants were planning a terrorist attack similar to the one committed by this organization in Istanbul on the night of January 1, 2017.   

Recall, the Istanbul nightclub shooting (also known as Reina massacre in Turkey) was a mass shooting incident on January 1, 2017 around 01:15 am local time, in which a terrorist shot and killed 39 people and wounded 79 others at the Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood of Istanbul, where hundreds had been celebrating New Year's Day.  Uzbekistan-born Abdulkadir Masharipov, who also goes by the name Abu Muhammed Khorasani, was arrested in Istanbul on January 17, 2017.  ISIS claimed credit for his actions.  The first hearing in the trial of Masharipov and 51 accused accomplices was held on December 11, 2017, and the next hearing was held on March 26, 2018.

In September 2020, a Turkish court sentenced Masharipov to life imprisonment, plus an additional 1,368 years in prison, for killing 39 people and injuring 79 more.   

On December 10, 2021, another suspect linked to the 2017 attack was detained in police custody in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.