Erdogan says ISIL chieftain detained in Istanbul

TEHRAN, Sep. 09 (MNA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Thursday that Bashar Hattab Ghazal Al-Sumaidai, codenamed "Abu Zeyd/Master Zeyd," has been captured in Istanbul in an operation by Turkish intelligence and Istanbul police.

Erdogan noted that a United Nations Security Report had identified al-Sumaidai as the most likely leader of ISIL following the February death of Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Salbi in a US Special Forces raid, Sputnik reported.

"In his interrogation, he also made his own statements that he was a so-called 'Qadi' within the organization, the so-called ministry of education and the ministry of justice," Erdogan told reporters.

"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. And this terrorist was caught by the successful operation of the Security Intelligence, MIT [National Intelligence Organization] and Istanbul Police. It was determined by the Istanbul police departments that the terrorist used a fake identity card and was disguised."

Turkish authorities arrested another senior ISIL chieftain, Abu al-Hassan al-Qurayshi, in May in Istanbul as well.

MP/PR

News Code 191208

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