A high-ranking Daesh figure has been arrested by security forces in Turkey, in the latest development in the country’s crackdown on the terror group and its affiliates.
The arrest of “emir” Mahmut Ozden was announced by Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu yesterday on Twitter. According to Soylu, the police were able to seize “important plans” during a raid in the town of Adana in southern Turkey.
DEAŞ’ın sözde Türkiye Emiri önemli planlarla yakalandı ve tutuklandı…
Teşekkürler, tebrikler Emniyet Teşkilatı 👏🇹🇷
— Süleyman Soylu | Maske😷 Mesafe↔️ Temizlik🧼 (@suleymansoylu) September 1, 2020
Among those plans was apparently a plot to kidnap Turkish politicians and smuggle them into Syria, as well as to form groups with dozens of members who would start protests and create civil unrest across Turkey. The police learnt that Ozden had received his orders from Daesh networks in Iraq and Syria after seizing and accessing his computer and digital materials.
The Turkish authorities were reportedly tipped off about Ozden’s role and his location after a separate raid in Istanbul last week. Following his arrest, a further 11 people affiliated with him were arrested. They are alleged to have been ordered to carry out attacks across Turkey.
The country has been accused of being a hub for Daesh militants wherein they are able to move freely and make financial transfers. However, Turkey – which was one of the first to declare the group to be a terrorist organisation back in 2013 – has constantly denied such allegations and has increased its efforts to crack down on Daesh cells and affiliates within its borders.