BuzzFeed reports: The man who blew himself up in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing 10 people, was a former dental student and member of ISIS who may have initially planned to carry out the attack on New Year’s Eve, sources told BuzzFeed News.
Nabil Fadli went from student at Aleppo University to anti-government rebel before casting his lot with ISIS radicals, people who knew him said.
“We fought for our revolution, but they wanted to build their Islamic state,” said one former rebel who fought alongside Fadli against the brutal government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, requesting anonymity because he feared retaliation from ISIS for speaking to the press. “We thought he was a good guy, but he’s a son of a bitch.”
Turkish authorities are still working to piece together a profile of Fadli, who entered the country as a refugee before attacking the heart of Istanbul, ratcheting up Turkey’s conflict with ISIS. But interviews with those who knew him in Syria provide new details about his path to terror — one that has become all too common over the course of the war.
They were still trying to come to grips with Fadli’s attack, which they saw as not only an act of terror, but also a bid to demonize 2 million of his countrymen who have been forced to take refuge in Turkey. “I was shocked when I heard what he did in Istanbul,” said Mohammed Bakir Hussein, who recalled studying with Fadli at Aleppo University, describing him as a well-liked student, quiet and conscientious. “It’s a very terrible thing.”
“He did it to make problems for the refugees,” the former rebel said. “He killed 10 people, but he put the 2 million Syrians in Turkey at risk.” [Continue reading…]