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Saved by his cellphone: U.S. businessman, 35, cheats death in Istanbul nightclub terror attack after his phone takes impact of bullet shot by 'ISIS' gunman

'ISIS terrorist' caught on VIDEO mercilessly slaughtering 39 people and wounding 69 others in Istanbul night club
American shot in Istanbul nightclub attack says his cell phone may have saved his life

  • Jacob Raak, 35, was visiting Istanbul with friends and was at Reina nightclub
  • When a gunman opened fire after 1am, Raak, of Delaware, was shot in the leg 
  • The cellphone of the small-business owner was also shot and destroyed
  • Doctors said the phone might have prevented bullet from hitting a major artery 
  • Raak flew to Philadelphia to be with friends on Monday after a hospital stay

A Delaware man was one of the dozens injured in the horrific attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul this New Year's Eve.

Jacob Raak, 35, is a small-business owner from Greenville, Delaware who was visiting Istanbul with friends.

Raak, who owns aerospace manufacturer TECH Manufacturing, Corp, was one of the 600 people celebrating New Year's at the nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy district when a gunman entered around 1.15am and opened fire.

Scroll down for video 

Raak, pictured heading home from the Ataturk Airport, in Istanbul, Monday, said he remained motionless and silent when gunfire broke out at Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Eve

Raak, pictured heading home from the Ataturk Airport, in Istanbul, Monday, said he remained motionless and silent when gunfire broke out at Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Eve

Raak, who is originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was shot in the leg, and doctors say the phone in his pocket might have saved him from a worse injury

Raak, who is originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was shot in the leg, and doctors say the phone in his pocket might have saved him from a worse injury

Jacob Raak, 35, was promptly taken to hospital after he was shot in the leg. He was one of the roughly 70 people injured in the attack

Jacob Raak, 35, was promptly taken to hospital after he was shot in the leg. He was one of the roughly 70 people injured in the attack

Jacob Raak was visiting Istanbul with friends when a gunman opened fire at Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood

Jacob Raak was visiting Istanbul with friends when a gunman opened fire at Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood

Raak's cell phone might have saved his life, WPVI-TV reported. 

He was shot in the leg but another bullet hit and destroyed his phone, which may have helped prevent damage to a major artery, doctors said.

Raak told NBC News that he stayed silent and motionless after being hit and that the gunman was targeting people lying on the ground. 

'When he shot me I didn't move - I just let him shoot me,' he said. 'I was shot when I was already on the ground. He was shooting people that he had already shot.' 

'You just have to stay as calm as you can,' he added. 'I took a bullet.' 

The 35-year-old, who said he was 'probably the luckiest person in the whole thing', was with a group of nine at the club. Seven of the nine were shot in the attack.  

Raak was at the Istanbul club in a group of nine on New Year's Eve. Seven members of the group were shot in the attack 

Raak was at the Istanbul club in a group of nine on New Year's Eve. Seven members of the group were shot in the attack 

Raak was one of nearly 70 people injured in the attack. Another 39 were killed - 25 of them were foreigners

Raak was one of nearly 70 people injured in the attack. Another 39 were killed - 25 of them were foreigners

'I saw him coming and he shot us all,' he told NBC News. 'Somebody said there were shots fired and I initially did not believe it until I saw the gunman and he started shooting up the whole place.' 

Raak returned to Philadelphia to be with friends on Monday.

Raak is a small-business owner and lives in Greenville, Delaware

Raak is a small-business owner and lives in Greenville, Delaware

His brother Michael Raak, of Philadelphia, said Jacob called about 7.30pm Eastern Time, or 3.30am in Istanbul, to say he had been shot. 

Raak is the only American confirmed to have been injured in the attack so far. 

DailyMail.com previously reported that at three WNBA players were next door to the attack.

Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray and Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks were among the roughly two dozen WNBA players spending their off-season in Turkey. 

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that a Canadian was one of the 39 people confirmed to have died in the attack.

The identity of the Canadian has not yet been revealed, but CBC News reported that Global Affairs Canada said it was 'looking into reports that an Iraqi-Canadian was killed in the attack.' 

Saved by his cell phone: A shot destroyed Raak's cell phone but may have saved his life
The phone might have prevented arterial damage

Urgent phone call: Jacob Raak called his family in Philadelphia around 7.30pm Eastern Time to notify them that he had been shot in the leg

The at-large gunman killed at least 39 people and wounded close to 70 others.

Nearly two-thirds of those reported killed - 25 people - were foreigners.

An Israeli woman, three Indians, three Lebanese, a woman with dual French-Tunisian citizenship and her Tunisian husband, two Jordanians, a Belgian national and a Kuwaiti citizen were among the foreign nationals reported dead in the attack. 

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said that the bodies of the foreign nationals would be delivered to their families Monday. 

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said: 'Unfortunately, (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year's and have fun.'

The gunman also killed a 22-year-old Turkish police officer and a 47-year-old Turkish travel agent outside the club.

Raak has been the only American casualty reported in the Istanbul nightclub shooting so far

Raak has been the only American casualty reported in the Istanbul nightclub shooting so far

Horrific moment Istanbul gunman opens fire outside nightclub
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Father Christmas shoots 35 dead and wounds 40 in celebrity nightclub Istanbul New Year attack on nightclub saw female security guard gunned down

  • 39 people were killed when gunman opened fire in an Istanbul nightclub
  • Turkish intelligence believe suspect is member of East Turkestan branch of ISIS 
  • Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un was working at the Reina nightclub and was killed
  • 19-year-old Israeli Leanne Nasser who was on holiday with her friends also died 
  • President Erdogan denounced attack calling it an 'attempt to destabilise Turkey'
  • Club owner Mehmet Kocarslan said security had been stepped up after warnings
  • Celebrity haunt is popular with stars including Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek 

Turkish police have released the first pictures of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack, which saw 39 people slaughtered as they celebrated the new year.

The unnamed man is described as being from Afghanistan, Chechnya or East Turkestan - a region of western China that is predominantly Muslim.  

Turkish intelligence services reportedly believe that he could be a member of the East Turkestan branch of ISIS but his exact nationality is still unknown. 

Turkish police have released the first picture of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack. The man, as yet unnamed, is described as being from East Turkestan, Afghanistan or Chechnya

Turkish police have released the first picture of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack. The man, as yet unnamed, is described as being from East Turkestan, Afghanistan or Chechnya

Turkish intelligence believes the suspect could be a member of the East Turkestan branch of ISIS

Turkish intelligence believes the suspect could be a member of the East Turkestan branch of ISIS

East Turkestan is a political name given to parts of northwest China where many Muslim citizens who want to break away from the country live
The suspect's exact nationality is still unknown

East Turkestan is a political name given to parts of northwest China where many Muslim citizens who want to break away from the country live. The suspect's exact nationality is still unknown

Horrific moment Istanbul gunman opens fire outside nightclub
Sparks can be seen flying down the street as the Istanbul nightclub shooter walks towards the Reina nightclub 

Sparks can be seen flying down the street as the Istanbul nightclub shooter walks towards the Reina nightclub 

People standing outside the club can be seen diving for cover as the gunman approaches firing indiscriminately 

People standing outside the club can be seen diving for cover as the gunman approaches firing indiscriminately 

After shooting a victim to the left of the screen, the gunman then runs into the nightclub 

After shooting a victim to the left of the screen, the gunman then runs into the nightclub 

Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un is among the 39 people who were gunned down in Istanbul
Turkish law requires a female guard  be present to search women clubbers

Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un is among the 39 people who were gunned down in Istanbul. Turkish law requires a female guard  be present to search women clubbers 

Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment the gunman began firing at revellers in the Reina nightclub with a Kalashnikov during the New Year's Eve massacre. 

The clip, filmed at the entrance of the nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy district, shows the man shooting indiscriminately.

It comes as the first victims of the massacre have been named, including a female security guard and an Israeli Arab tourist.

The gunman is seen casually strolling into the nightclub holding the weapon before carrying out the killing spree while reportedly shouting 'Allahu Akbar'.

He later escaped in the chaos that ensued forcing Turkish police launch a major manhunt.

Fifteen of the dead are believed to be foreign nationals, including one Israeli woman and people from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya, a Turkish-Belgian dual citizen and a Franco-Tunisian woman. 

A further 69 people are thought to have been wounded in the attack, which happened in the early hours of this morning. 

 The 27-year-old was working at the Reina nightclub on the night of the attack

 The 27-year-old was working at the Reina nightclub on the night of the attack

Among the victims was a 27-year-old female private security guard from northeast Turkey. 

Mother-of-one Hatice Koc'un was working at the Reina nightclub on the night of the attack as Turkish law requires a woman guard to be present to search female clubbers.

Her family identified her body at the morgue today, Turkish media reported, and are transporting it to the family home at western city of Balikesir.

The day before the attack, Koc'un, whose daughter is three years old, shared pictures of herself on social media wearing sunglasses and kissing the Turkish flag.

Meanwhile a 19-year-old Israeli woman has also been named as among the dead.

Leanne Nasser was on holiday with three female friends, all from the Arab-majority village of Tira in northern Israel.

One of her friends was also injured, while the other two were psychologically traumatised but physically unharmed, Israeli officials told MailOnline.

Leanne Nasser was on holiday with three female friends, all from the Arab-majority village of Tira in northern Israel

Leanne Nasser was on holiday with three female friends, all from the Arab-majority village of Tira in northern Israel

They will return to Israel tonight, when the body will also be repatriated.

Four other Israeli women were also caught up in the attack and were Arab citizens of the Jewish State, an Israeli government source has told MailOnline.

They were visiting Turkey to celebrate the New Year despite security concerns.

'Their friends told them not to come because they thought it was too dangerous,' said Shira Ben Zion, Israel's deputy consul in Istanbul.

'They are very shocked and confused and they just want to get back home.'

Israeli officials are providing the women with consular support and helping them return to Israel, she added. 

Also gunned down was police officer Burak Yildiz, who had been guarding the front of the upmarket riverside club.

The 21-year-old had reportedly only been in the job for 12 months when he was shot dead after the building had been stormed.

Victim Fatih Çakmak was also a policeman and on duty at the nightclub during the New Year celebrations.

He has previously escaped an attack while working at the match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor last month when a car bomb exploded.

Also gunned down was police officer Burak Yildiz
He had been guarding the front of the upmarket riverside club

Also gunned down was police officer Burak Yildiz, who had been guarding the front of the upmarket riverside club

Club worker Kenan Kutluk (right) has also been named as a victim and his Facebook page shows him posing next to footballer Diego Costa

Club worker Kenan Kutluk (right) has also been named as a victim and his Facebook page shows him posing next to footballer Diego Costa

Fatih Çakmak, a policeman who was on duty at the nightclub during the New Year celebrations, was also killed 

Fatih Çakmak, a policeman who was on duty at the nightclub during the New Year celebrations, was also killed 

Çakmak had previously escaped another attack while working at the match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor last month when a car bomb exploded

Çakmak had previously escaped another attack while working at the match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor last month when a car bomb exploded

Club worker Kenan Kutluk has also been named as a victim. His Facebook page shows him posing next to footballer Diego Costa, who had previously visited the club.

While police have released two images of a suspect, they do not have yet have a name.

Three Lebanese citizens were among those killed, Lebanon's foreign ministry said.

Four other Lebanese were wounded in the attack, it said. The ministry named those killed as Elias Wardini, Haykal Mousallem and Rita Shami.

Recent terror attacks in Turkey have been carried out by groups such as ISIS and Kurdish militants. 

The gunman, pictured, was described as raining down 'a hail of bullets' on the New Year revellers and is still on the run
CCTV believed to be from inside the club shows a gunman who appears to be wearing a Santa outfit
CCTV believed to be from inside the club shows a gunman who appears to be wearing a Santa outfit

CCTV believed to be from inside the club shows a gunman wearing hat

Turkish police launched a major manhunt for the attacker, who Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim revealed left his weapon inside the venue and escaped by 'taking advantage of the chaos' that ensued.

He also said there was no truth to reports that the attacker wore a Santa hat, despite the CCTV footage from inside the club appearing to show the gunman in a bobble hat.

The gunman was described as raining down 'a hail of bullets' on the New Year revellers and is still on the run.  


CCTV appears to show the Istanbul nightclub attackers

Family and friends bury Istanbul nightclub attack victim

Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan vowed to fight against attacks by terror groups and their backers.

In a statement he said: 'As a nation, we will fight to the end against not just the armed attacks of terror groups and the forces behind them, but also against their economic, political and social attacks.

'They are trying to create chaos, demoralize our people, and destabilize our country with abominable attacks which target civilians.

'We will retain our cool-headedness as a nation, standing more closely together, and we will never give ground to such dirty games.' 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (pictured) revealed the gunman left his weapon inside the venue and escaped by 'taking advantage of the chaos' that ensued

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (pictured) revealed the gunman left his weapon inside the venue and escaped by 'taking advantage of the chaos' that ensued

This morning armed police with shields formed a ring of steel around the nightclub in Istanbul, where 39 people were shot dead 

This morning armed police with shields formed a ring of steel around the nightclub in Istanbul, where 39 people were shot dead 

Police secure the area as the convoy of Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu leaves after his visit to the nightclub where the attack took place 

Police secure the area as the convoy of Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu leaves after his visit to the nightclub where the attack took place 

Special forces stand guard outside the nightclub this morning. A further 69 people are thought to have been wounded in the attack

Special forces stand guard outside the nightclub this morning. A further 69 people are thought to have been wounded in the attack

This morning a Turkish police boar was anchored on the Bosphorus close to the nightclub as a manhunt for the killer continues 

This morning a Turkish police boar was anchored on the Bosphorus close to the nightclub as a manhunt for the killer continues 

A Turkish policeman stands guard next to the scene. Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu said the attacker has not been identified and is still at large
Scenes of Istanbul nightclub just an hour before terror attack
Gunman dressed as Santa storms Reina nightclub in Istanbul

Video appears to show panic in New Year's Eve Istanbul terror attack
Chaos on the streets of Istanbul after terror attack

TERROR IN TURKEY: ATTACKS IN 2016 

On December 19, the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was shot dead by an assassin as he gave a speech at an art gallery in Ankara. 

On 10 December 2016, a car bomb exploded near the Besiktas football stadium in the Macka/Dolmabahce area of Istanbul. 44 people, mostly police officers, were killed, and over 150 injured.

On 24 November 2016, a bomb exploded near the Governor's office in Adana. 2 people were killed and 21 injured.

On 14 October 2016, a rocket attack took place on the outskirts of Antalya towards Kemer; no casualties were reported. Separately on 14 October 2016, attacks also took place against the Turkish military in Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Van and Adiyaman resulting in 13 injuries to service personnel

On 6 October 2016, an explosion occurred near a police headquarters in the Yenibosna area on the European side of Istanbul

On 24 August 2016, a roadside bomb injured 2 Gendarmerie officers on the Antalya – Kemer road near Topcam.

On 20 August 2016, an attack on a wedding party in Gaziantep killed more than 50 people and injured around 100.

On 28 June 2016, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 40 people were killed.

On 7 June 2016, a bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.

On 1 May 2016, a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.

On 27 April 2016, there was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.

On 19 March 2016, there was a suicide bomb attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul, in which 4 tourists died and at least 36 people were injured.

On 13 March 2016, a bombing in Kizilay Square, central Ankara killed more than 30 people.

On 17 February 2016, a large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people.

On 12 January 2016, a suicide bomb attack in Sultanahmet in Istanbul killed 10 tourists.

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  • The gunmen appear to be wearing Santa costumes in CCTV footage
  • The pair opened fire in the Reina nightclub, one of Istanbul's most popular venues
  • The city's governor said 35 people were killed in the New Year's Eve attack
  • A police officer is among the dead, Vasip Şahin revealed
  • An estimated 17,000 police officers are believed to be on duty tonight in Istanbul 
  • Nightclub owner Mehmet Kocarslan said security had been stepped up after US intelligence warnings 
  • The celebrity haunt is popular with stars including Kevin Costner, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek and Sting 
CCTV appears to show attackers dressed as Santa Claus
Video appears to show panic in New Year's Eve Istanbul terror attack

Chaos on the streets of Istanbul after terror attack
Istanbul attack survivor carried away on stretcher

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