Key ISIL militant caught in Turkey’s south

Key ISIL militant caught in Turkey’s south

Key ISIL militant caught in Turkey’s south

AA photo

A key Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant has been caught in the southern province of Adana. 

Safwan Qahwati was planning to head to Europe to carry out attacks upon the jihadist group’s orders, Doğan News Agency reported on March 29. 

Qahwati and his wife were caught in a joint operation carried out by Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) and Adana police. The militant was arrested after his interrogation. 

It was determined that the Syrian national Qahwati was planning to escape to Europe after the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched its Euphrates Shield operation against ISIL in northern Syria. 

He illegally entered Turkey’s border province of Hatay with his wife, planning to head to Istanbul before reaching Europe. He and his wife were caught on a bus in Adana after being stopped by the police. They were detained, and after 14 days of interrogation, Qahwati’s wife was released. 

Authorities determined Qahwati as one of ISIL’s key figures after examining his digital flash drives and hard disks. He also wore a ring used by key ISIL figures. 

He was referred to court after days of interrogation and was later arrested. 

Cyber experts said they found a photo of Qahwati wearing a mask while putting a knife to a person’s throat. They also found photos showing huge sums of money taken with ISIL militants. 

In addition, a footage showing Qahwati giving European militants arms training also emerged, where he is seen firing with a long barreled weapon, before giving the weapon to someone else. 

It was also revealed that Qahwati helped Danish militant Mahamad Laban of Lebanese origin and Swedish militant Mohammed Tefik Saleh of Iraqi origin, who were both apprehended in an ISIL operation in Adana on Feb. 1, to cross into Syria.