Türkiye captures senior ISIL leader

Türkiye captures senior ISIL leader

Türkiye captures senior ISIL leader

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 9 that Turkish security forces had arrested a "senior executive" of the ISIL

Erdoğan said the commander was known as Abu Zeyd.

His real name was Bashar Khattab Ghazal al-Sumaidai, Erdoğan told reporters on board his flight home from a three-nation tour of the Balkans.

Erdoğan said a U.N. Security Council report published in July identified Sumaidai as "one of the senior executives of the (ISIL) terrorist organisation".

Turkish media said there were some indications Sumaidai may in fact be the man known as Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi - an Iraqi who is the new self-proclaimed caliph, or leader, of the entire ISIL group.

Erdoğan only referred to Sumaidai as a top ISIL official in Syria.

"In his interrogation, he also stated that he was a so-called ’qadi’ of the so-called ministry of education and ministry of justice," Erdoğan said

A qadi is a judge in a sharia court.

Erdoğan did not say when the ISIL commander was captured.

"This terrorist’s connections in Syria and Istanbul had been followed for a long time, and intelligence information was obtained that he would enter Turkey illegally," Erdoğan said.

"This terrorist was caught in a successful operation of the MIT security service and the Istanbul police."