Turkey said on Tuesday it has captured a top member of the Takfiri ISIL group responsible for operations on its territory
“Daesh’s so-called Turkey emir (commander) has been captured and detained,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted, praising the Turkish police.
The minister was using a pejorative Arabic acronym for the extremist group.
Speaking to reporters later, Soylu identified the suspect as Mahmut Ozden, adding that he was captured after the August 18 arrest of another ISIL member who was allegedly planning an attack in Istanbul.
The suspect received orders from Syria and Iraq and was also asked to organise small-scale protests in Turkey, Soylu said in televised remarks.
The minister said police had also uncovered plans for several ISIL attacks, including a kidnapping plot.
“There’s an ongoing operation” to locate other suspects, he said.
The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a spate of deadly attacks in Turkey, including an assault on an upscale Istanbul nightclub during New Year’s Eve festivities just minutes into 2017, which left 39 people including tourists dead.