Turkish police capture top ISIS figure

Afghan national, identified only by codename Basim, has been detained in Istanbul

The Afghan citizen, identified only by the codename Basim, was detained in the Atasehir district of Istanbul. Reuters file photo
The Afghan citizen, identified only by the codename Basim, was detained in the Atasehir district of Istanbul. Reuters file photo

A close aide of killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has been caught in Istanbul, police said Sunday.

The Afghan national, identified only by the codename Basim, was detained in the Atasehir district on the city’s Asian side on Wednesday, Istanbul police said.

Reports of the joint operation with Turkey’s intelligence agency said the suspect help to hide Al Baghdadi in Syria’s Idlib province after the fall of ISIS in 2019.

Al Baghdadi was killed in a raid on his Syrian hideout by US special forces in October 2019.

Turkish media published a photograph of a balding, bearded man in a light coat after the arrest and an earlier image showing a long-haired, heavily bearded man in military fatigues wielding a curved sword.

Basim was suspected of organising training for ISIS while in Syria and Iraq as well as serving on its decision-making council, the Demiroren news agency reported.

He had arrived in Turkey with a false passport and identity card, the agency said.

Turkey regularly detains suspected ISIS members believed to be planning attacks in the country.

Updated: May 3, 2021 11:40 PM

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