Turkey claimed Tuesday (September 1) to have arrested the highest commander of the Islamic State (IS) organization in this country, accusing him of planning attacks on tourist places and political leaders.
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The alleged Daesh emir (Arabic name for ISIS) in Turkey has been arrested in possession of important plans and taken into custody,
" Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Twitter.
This Turkish national, identified as Mahmut Ozden, was arrested in Adana (south), Süleyman Soylu subsequently told the press, without specifying the date of his arrest.
He was in constant contact with members of Daesh in Iraq and Syria,
" he added.
Turkish media published photos of the suspect, a middle-aged man with a thick beard and glasses.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, the suspect was transferred to Istanbul and then remanded in custody by a court and held on Monday in Silivri prison, near the Turkish metropolis.
It was the arrest of another suspected ISIS member that helped trace him back, Anadolu said.
Suspected of having coordinated several terrorist attacks
According to the agency, Mahmut Ozden is suspected of having coordinated several bombing projects against emblematic places, such as the former Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which was converted into a mosque last month, but also against politicians. .
After being accused of letting jihadists go to neighboring Syria for years to pass, Turkey itself has become a target of ISIS.
Several attacks committed in 2015 and 2016 were claimed by ISIS or attributed by Ankara to the ultra-radical group.
ISIS notably claimed responsibility for an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that left 39 dead on New Year's Eve 2017. The trial of the alleged assailant is due to resume next Monday.