Attention focused Friday on whether a Chechen extremist known to be a top lieutenant in the Islamic State group was involved in the suicide attacks that killed 44 people at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.
The alleged organizer of the Istanbul airport massacre is a well known militant who served as a top lieutenant in ISIS' war ministry, a USA official said. Citing a prosecution source, the agency named two of the attackers as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, without giving their nationalities. Experts say that Turkey, while especially vulnerable because of the various terrorists that can operate in it, may not hear a confession from the Islamic State as its militants use Turkey as one of its main hubs to carry out their agenda in other countries.
Like the attack in Brussels, the terrorists took a taxi to the airport.
In the deadliest of a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey, the attackers struck the busy airport, a symbol of Istanbul's role as the Muslim world's most open and cosmopolitan city, a crossroads between Europe and Asia.
On the other hand, Russia's Kremlin said on Friday that it did not rule out the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan could meet before a G20 summit scheduled for September in China. People from the former Soviet Union tend to be the most battle-hardened and willing to die", said CNN contributor Michael Weiss, author of "ISIS: "Inside the Army of Terror".
At least 44 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing at Istanbul's global airport on Tuesday, with the government pointing the finger of blame at IS militants.
The pro-government Sabah newspaper reported that the attackers scouted the scene and planned to take dozens of passengers hostage inside before carrying out a massacre.
The attack marked the eighth suicide bombing in Turkey this year.
The terrorists were found to have rented an apartment in the Fatih district of Istanbul, where one of them left his passport.
The assailants raised the suspicion of airport security on the day of the attack because they showed up in winter jackets on a summer day, several media reported.
Turkey's interior minister said the explosives used were a mix of RDX, TNT and PETN that were "manufactured".
The Dogan news agency broadcast footage of the Istanbul police raids.
He referred to the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the Islamic State group.
"Given the suicide bombers were able to get inside the airport with guns and bombs, I was reassured to see more police at the entrances and exits", she said. Police seized three hunting rifles and documents relating to IS during the raids.
"Our thoughts on those responsible for the attack lean toward Islamic State", Yildirim said in a news conference in capital city Ankara.
Erdogan, whose government has taken steps this week to improve relations with Israel and Russian Federation in part to strengthen its hand in fighting against militants, said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global battle against terrorism, which he said had "no regard for faith or values".