An Australian militant and Isis recruiter, who was thought to have been killed in May in a US air strike in Mosul, has been arrested in Turkey. Neil Prakash, who was in the inner circle of the Islamic State militant group, has handed himself to Turkish authorities, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has said.
Australian justice minister Michael Keenan said the government believes Prakash is in Turkish custody but gave no further details. The dreaded militant, who is also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, plotted several attacks in Australia, the authorities had said. Prakash, 25, was a leading member of the Isis propaganda machinery, which the FBI called the "The Legion".
Australia said earlier this year Prakash actively recruited Australian men, women and children, and encouraged acts of terrorism in the country.
"The government reported Prakash's death in May on the basis of advice from the US government that he had been killed in an air strike ... But as we have said previously, the government's capacity to confirm reports of deaths in either Syria or Iraq is limited. These places are war zones, with many ungoverned spaces," said Keenan, BBC reported.
Prakash hailed from Melbourne and was born to Buddhist parents of Cambodian and Fijian heritage. He converted to Islam in 2012 and joined the Daesh in Syria.
The Australian government had said Prakash was a prominent Isis member and a senior terrorist recruiter and attack facilitator. The government said he had been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and had called for lone-wolf attacks against the United States.
According to the Guardian, Australia will seek the extraditing of its most wanted terrorist. Australia has an extradition treaty with Turkey. "We are conscious that this individual has been arrested by Turkish authorities and their processes need to be respected and allowed to be completed," a ministry spokeswoman said. "Australia will collaborate closely with Turkish authorities in accordance with law. Australia and Turkey have a longstanding history co-operation to combat terrorism."