Police arrest ISIS commander, members in northwest Turkey

Turkish authorities arrested four Islamic State (ISIS) members, including a high-ranking commander, in the northwestern province of Bursa, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.

A gas repairman, suspected of being a militant leader and executioner known by the name “Abu Taki al-Shami”, was detained by anti-terrorism and intelligence units on Monday.

Shami, 50, can be recognised in a number of ISIS execution videos posted online. He had left Syria and returned to civilian life, Hürriyet Daily News said.

Three other members were arrested shortly after Shami, including an ISIS intelligence operative, Anadolu said.

At the height of the militant group’s rule in Syria and Iraq between 2015 and early 2017, Turkey witnessed a series of ISIS-claimed bombings and attacks, starting with an explosion in the southeast province of Diyarbakır during an election rally for the predominantly-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in June 2015.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for an attack on an Istanbul nightclub during the New Year celebrations in 2017, which killed 39 people, most of them foreigners.