Court arrests key ISIL militant ‘Abu Hanzala’ in Turkey’s northwest
ISTANBULA key Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant was arrested in the northwestern province of Sakarya on June 7.
“Abu Hanzala,” code-named Halis Bayancuk, was arrested over “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “being a member of the ISIL armed terrorist group.”
Bayancuk, who was detained on May 30 in Istanbul as a part of an investigation launched by the Sakarya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, is believed to be one of the key senior militants of the jihadist group.
In addition to Bayancuk, another suspected militant, identified only by the initials M.Y., was also arrested.
Bayancuk was detained and arrested several times previously in Turkey. Back in 2015, he and his wife were arrested after police raided their home and seized a number of ISIL-linked documents, both digital and non-digital. He was later released in March 2016.
He was once again detained in March 2017 after threatening personnel of the Istanbul Governor’s Office via a video broadcast online, after a meeting he had planned to attend was canceled by the authorities.
Bayancuk had also been arrested in 2011 and 2014 for “being a member of al-Qaeda” and was released both times after serving a couple of months in jail.
Previous footage showed him threatening the Turkish authorities in a speech he made during a picnic in Istanbul’s Ömerli district.