Police nab relative of ISIL’s ex-leader in Kırşehir

Turkish counter-terrorism units have apprehended a relative of former ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the central province of Kırşehir.

The security forces initiated the operation, acting on intelligence that a relative of al-Baghdadi, who has been engaged in terrorist activities on behalf of the organization, was in Kırşehir.

The suspect was frequently changing addresses to evade detection, wearing hats, caps and masks, security sources said.

Security sources have yet to conclusively verify the exact nature of the suspect's kinship with the former ISIL leader. The apprehended terrorist was transferred to the court for arrest.

Al- Baghdadi, the fugitive leader of ISIL killed himself during a U.S. military operation in northwestern Syria in 2019. Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a "caliphate" in areas of Iraq and Syria.

Türkiye faced a series of ISIL-linked attacks in recent years, including an attack on a Catholic church in Istanbul in January.

Recently, Turkish security forces carried out a major operation in Istanbul targeting the financial network of the terrorist organization, resulting in the detention of several employees from currency exchange offices and foreign trade companies.

In 2023, Turkish intelligence forces killed ISIL's Abu Hussein al-Qurashi in Syria.

ISIL selected Qurashi as its chief in November 2022 after the previous leader was killed in an operation in southern Syria.

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