Close associate of ISIL leader Baghdadi caught in Turkey’s İzmir
A close associate of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been caught in the western Turkish province of İzmir in a joint cooperation of the police and national intelligence organization.
The suspect, identified only by the initials K.E.H., was reported to be ISIL’s so-called “emir” in Deir Ezzor in Syria, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 27.
K.E.H. is reportedly one of the ISIL commanders responsible for massacring 700 civilians on Dec. 14, 2017 in the Syrian village of Shaidat.
He is also a close relative of Saddam Jamal, one of the ISIL commanders believed to be lined up to replace Baghdadi. Many reports have said Baghdadi was killed in a raid in Syria but there has been no official confirmation or denial of the news.
Along with K.E.H., police also caught three other ISIL suspects, all high-ranking leaders of the group.
The suspects had reportedly mingled in with Syrian refugees in a bid to flee abroad. The four suspects were taken to an İzmir police station for judicial processes.
Meanwhile, a Turkish court arrested an ISIL suspect on April 26 in the western province of Sakarya. The arrest came after two ISIL suspects were detained in the province and then referred to the court with the demand of arrest. One of the suspects was arrested, while the other was released on judicial control.
Aditionally, 14 people were detained in an ISIL operation in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on April 27, Doğan News Agency has reported.
The suspects are accused of conducting the group’s propaganda by sharing social media messages and photos in support of the group.
The police also seized an automatic rifle, nine rifle cartridges, eight books on ISIL, and digital material.