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Turkey Interrogates Suspected Senior DAESH Leader

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Halis Bayancuk was arrested Tuesday as part of investigation against the militant group

A suspected senior Daesh leader, who was arrested Tuesday by Istanbul police’s anti-terror branch, has been interrogated in northwestern Sakarya province Wednesday.

Halis Bayancuk, who is also known as Abu Hanzala, was arrested in Istanbul, as part of the investigation carried out by Sakarya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the militant group, according to a source.

Bayancuk is accused of being leader of Daesh's supporters and sympathizers in Turkey, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to media, said.

Previously in 2015, the suspect was arrested among a number of detainees held across Turkey in a major nationwide anti-terror operation. Police also detained his wife and seized documents and digital material from his home in Istanbul's Bagcilar district.

He was jailed pending trial for charges of "leading or being a member of a terrorist organization." At a hearing in February 2016, Bayancuk rejected any link with any terrorist organization.

In March 2016, he was released under judicial control among dozens of other suspects.

Back in 2014 and 2011, Bayancuk was also arrested as police raided al-Qaeda cells in Istanbul. In the past, he had been suspected of being Al-Qaeda's alleged leader in Turkey.

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