The Turkish National Intelligence Organization, MİT, has arrested a senior Turkish commander of ISIS during a recent operation inside Syria, the Anadolu Agency announced on June 15.
According to the state-run news agency, the MİT launched an operation to capture Kasim Guler, also known as “Abu Usame al-Turki,” after it discovered that he was plotting a large-scale terrorist attack in Turkey.
Guler was preparing to enter Turkey illegally to prepare the attack when he was apprehended by Turkish intelligence agents.
“After a period of surveillance, the MİT nabbed the terrorist in Syria and brought to Turkey for interrogation,” a source familiar with the case told the Anadolu Agency. “It was learned that the terrorist was preparing to enter Turkey illegally with arms and explosives.”
Guler held a senior position in ISIS. He was reportedly referred to as the financial officer of the group in Russia, Europe and Turkey. He operated in Afghanistan-Pakistan region between 2008- 2010 before joining ISIS in 2014.
The terrorist was in the red category of the Interior Ministry’s wanted list. The list is color-coded with red representing the most wanted. Other levels are blue, green, orange, and gray.
Turkish authorities have been operating non-stop against ISIS cells in the country. On June 15, 17 people were arrested in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Bursa, Mugla, and Malatya over their suspected links to ISIS.
The arrest of Guler was a major blow to ISIS. Nevertheless, it will not likely effect the terrorist group’s operations along the Syrian-Turkish border. The group’s cells are operating freely in Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria as well as in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib which is protected by the Turkish military.
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