Aus­tralia asks Turkey to ex­tra­dite top IS ter­ror sus­pect

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Aus­tralia is seek­ing the ex­tra­di­tion of its most wanted Is­lamic State ter­ror sus­pect who was thought to be dead but has been caught alive by Turkey, the govern­ment said yes­ter­day.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed a New York Times re­port that so-called Is­lamic State group op­er­a­tive Neil Prakash had been caught by Turk­ish forces sev­eral weeks ago as he tried to en­ter their coun­try from Syria. “An in­di­vid­ual we be­lieve to be Neil Prakash has been ar­rested and de­tained in Turkey,” a govern­ment spokesper­son said in a state­ment.

“Prakash is sub­ject to a for­mal ex­tra­di­tion re­quest from Aus­tralia.” Prakash was a se­nior re­cruiter for Is­lamic State and has been linked to ter­ror plots to kill Aus­tralians.

In May Prakash was re­ported dead by Can­berra on ad­vice from Wash­ing­ton that he had been killed in a US airstrike in north­ern Iraq. How­ever, the Times said he was only wounded, not killed, in Mo­sul on April 29. Prakash, who is in his early twen­ties, left Aus­tralia in 2013.

He has been linked to a failed Mel­bourne plot to be­head a po­lice of­fi­cer in April last year, as well as to an 18-year-old who was killed af­ter stab­bing two po­lice of­fi­cers in Mel­bourne in 2014.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull has called Prakash the se­nior Aus­tralian op­er­a­tive in IS. Re­ported to be of In­dian, Fi­jian and Cam­bo­dian back­ground, Prakash used the in­ter­net “to pro­mote the evil ide­ol­ogy” of the ji­hadist group “and re­cruit Aus­tralian men, women and chil­dren-many of whom are ei­ther still in the con­flict zone or dead. “Prakash and oth­ers ruth­lessly tar­get and groom our chil­dren-vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren-with hate­ful pro­pa­ganda of ter­ror­ism which per­verts the re­li­gion of Is­lam,” Turn­bull told par­lia­ment in May. — AFP

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