Mon, 09 Dec 2019

Ukraine Detains Top Islamic State Commander

RFE
16 Nov 2019, 05:45 GMT+10

Ukraine's main security agency says it has arrested a key figure in the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Al-Bara Shishani, a Georgian national, was apprehended near Ukraine's capital, Kiyv, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said in a Facebook statement on November 15.

The statement said the CIA and Georgia's Interior Ministry participated in the operation.

Vika Klimicheva, a spokeswoman for Georgia's state security service, confirmed the man was being held in Ukraine and said his birth name was Cezar Tokhosashvili.

Shishani has served as a deputy to Abu Omar al-Shishani, the man the Pentagon has described as the IS's 'minister of war.'

After the latter was killed in 2016, Shishani fled to Turkey and in 2018 used a fake passport to travel to Ukraine, where he continued to coordinate IS activities, the SBU said.

He was detained in the Kyiv region near a private home where he resided, the statement said, without saying when the operation too place.

'A portrait examination has proved that the detained foreigner is indeed a wanted leader of the Islamic State,' according to the SBU.

Both Shishani and al-Shishani were said to have been born in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge region near the border with Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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