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‘Leading’ IS Member Arrested in Istanbul: Turkish Official

A leading member of the Islamic State group has been arrested in Turkey, a top official said Friday, refusing to confirm that it was the jihadist group’s leader.

Turkey had “no clear information” yet whether the suspect was — as media reports had claimed — IS leader Abu Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, the official told AFP, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.

But a member from “the leadership cadres” was arrested last week, the source said.

Abu Hassan was named leader of the Islamic State group in March, just over a month after his predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, blew himself up during a raid by US forces on his house in Syria’s northwest region of Idlib.

Turkish authorities have so far not confirmed media reports that Abu Hassan had been arrested.

Iraq announced victory against IS in late 2017 after three years of ferocious fighting backed by paramilitary forces and the US-led air coalition.

But IS cells still carry out hit-and-run attacks, particularly in vast desert regions of northern and western Iraq near the porous border with Syria.

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