Delco Native Wounded in New Year’s Eve Istanbul Attack
A Delaware County native was injured in an attack that killed 39 people during a New Year’s Eve party in an Istanbul nightclub.
William Jacob Raak, 35, was reportedly visiting friends in the city and partaking in a New Year’s Eve celebration at Reina, the nightclub where the early-morning attack took place. His brother, Michael Raak of South Philadelphia, told CBS that Raak called him shortly after the attack to tell him he had been shot in the leg.
WOUNDED IN ISTANBUL – Jake Raak of Chadds Ford was shot in the leg. His brother Chris tells me they're grateful he will be okay. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/8QTATNAU4M
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) January 2, 2017
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack – which left roughly 70 people injured – in a statement that apparently referenced Turkey’s connection to conflict in Syria. The attacker allegedly used a rapid-fire rifle to kill a policeman and a bystander before entering the club, where roughly 600 people – many of them foreigners – gathered for a New Year’s Eve celebration. According to the New York Times, 27 of the attack’s 39 victims were foreigners.
Michael Raak told CBS that his brother is recovering and expected to return home shortly. Police are reportedly still searching for the attacker, who has not yet been identified.
Reina owner Mehmet Kocarslan told reporters that police had boosted security around the club during the holiday season. The U.S. Embassy had sent out a general holiday season threat warning for those traveling to Turkey and several other countries.
The White House has called the attack “horrific,” according to the Associated Press. The U.N. Security Council said it condemns the shooting “in the strongest terms,” calling it “a heinous and barbaric terrorist attack.”
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