Kabul: In a big development, an Afghan national code-named “Basim”, also slain terrorist leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s right-hand man, has been captured in Istanbul in a joint operation by Turkish intelligence and police, reports stated on Monday.
The Afghan national has been detained in the Ataşehir district on the city’s Asian side, according to an Istanbul police statement, Daily Sabah reported.
News reports of the joint operation with Turkey’s intelligence agency said the suspect had been involved in helping hide Al-Baghdadi in Syria’s Idlib province after the fall of the terror group in 2019. Basim was suspected of organizing training for Daesh while in Syria and Iraq, as well as serving on its decision-making council. He arrived in Turkey with a false passport and identity card.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US military operation in Syria in 2019. Reports said that Turkish intelligence played a key role in the death of al-Baghdadi by detaining and extraditing one of his aides to Iraq, who provided US authorities with critical information for locating the vicious man.
Turkish security forces have nabbed at least 850 suspects with links to Daesh in the first three months of 2021, dealing a heavy blow to the terrorist group’s presence in the country and its activities in the region.
Being one of the first countries that recognized Daesh as a terrorist group in 2013, Turkey has been frequently conducting domestic and cross-border operations against the group for years in order to eliminate a major global terrorism threat.
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In 2021’s domestic operations, 145 of those 850 – which includes several senior figures – have been imprisoned and some of them have been also repatriated.
In addition, documents and ammunition belonging to the terrorist group were seized during these operations.