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Turkey captures top Daesh explosives expert

KIRKUK, IRAQ - DECEMBER 15: Firefighter teams conduct extinguish works after the Daesh carried out a bomb attack on wells in the Habbaza oil field in the Kirkuk province of Iraq on December 15, 2020. ( Ali Makram Ghareeb - Anadolu Agency )
Firefighter teams conduct extinguish works after the Daesh carried out a bomb attack on wells in the Habbaza oil field in the Kirkuk province of Iraq on December 15, 2020 [Ali Makram Ghareeb - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish intelligence has arrested and detained a prominent figure in Daesh with help from American intelligence, as Ankara continues to track down suspects of the terror group.

Egyptian-born Mustafa Abdulwahab Mahmud, a top explosives expert who was close to Daesh's former leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, was caught and detained on the outskirts of Istanbul along with three other terror suspects yesterday.

Having reportedly fled Syria recently, Mahmud's location was discovered after US intelligence tipped off their Turkish counterparts. According to media reports, Mahmud was plotting attacks within Turkey and has long been wanted by the US.

READ: Turkey arrests 16 persons for 'funding Daesh'

The arrest of the explosives expert comes amid Turkey's security campaign against Daesh operatives hiding within the country, in which several high-ranking members of the group have been captured over the past year.

Most recently, Ankara caught an Afghan national earlier this month who goes by the name Basim, and who was also described as the "right-hand man" of Al-Baghdadi.

The coordination between US and Turkish intelligence in this operation, however, came shortly after it was revealed that Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had gradually ended the country's cooperation in joint training and intelligence-sharing with America due to ongoing tense relations between the two.

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