Turkey detains senior Islamic State figure, says minister

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at a news conference for foreign media correspondents in Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2019. — Ahmet Bolat/pool pic via Reuters
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at a news conference for foreign media correspondents in Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2019. — Ahmet Bolat/pool pic via Reuters

ISTANBUL, Sept 1 — Turkish police have arrested Islamic State’s top figure in Turkey along with plans for attacks by the militant group, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said today.

“He had been constantly receiving orders from both Iraq and Syria to carry out an attack in Turkey,” Soylu said.

He named the suspect as Mahmut Ozden and said the operation was continuing, with Islamic State suspects linked to him currently under interrogation. It was not clear where or when he was detained.

Turkish police sporadically carry out raids targeting Islamic State. On July 19 they detained 27 people in Istanbul linked to the group who were suspected of preparing an attack.

Islamic State has conducted numerous attacks across Turkey, including on a nightclub in Istanbul on January 1, 2017 in which 39 people were killed, and a bombing in the city’s historic heart that killed 12 in 2016. — Reuters

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