The suspected military leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has been arrested in Turkey, a police statement said on Sunday.
Named Basim, the Afghan national has been nicknamed the right-hand man of the late IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
Basim was detained in a suburb of Istanbul and was traveling on a false passport, according to the police statement.
Basim is said to have disappeared months after the terrorist group was invaded in Syria and Iraq in December 2017.
Photo of baldness, bearded man
Turkish media published a photo of a bald, bearded man in a light coat after the arrest and an earlier image, allegedly of the same person, showing a long-haired, heavily bearded man in military fatigues wielding a curved sword.
The Demiroren news agency said Basim was believed to have organized training for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, as well as serving on its decision-making council.
NTV reported that Basim was being questioned after a joint operation by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and Istanbul Police.
ISIS chief Baghdadi killed himself in October 2019 by detonating a suicide vest in a US-led raid on his hideout in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province .
Turkey regularly detains ISIS suspects, many of whom are said to have planned attacks in the country.
With material from the Associated Press