Turkish police have detained a suspected former executioner for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group who became a gas repairman when he returned to civilian life in Turkey, AFP reported, citing local media.
The 50-year-old Syrian, known by the nickname “Abu Taki al-Shami,” was arrested at a construction site on Monday in the province of Bursa in northwest Turkey, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
The agency described him as an executioner for a senior ISIS leader in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, a former stronghold of the extremist group.
A video of his arrest showed him in work clothes and closely shaved.
It is alleged he is the same man videoed several years ago in Syria with a full beard, killing a civilian with a shot to the back of the head.
His arrest led to the detention of three others in Bursa on Tuesday over alleged ISIL links, Anadolu said.
ISIL held vast swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq from its rise in 2014 until its military defeat last year.
Turkey, which supported the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was accused by its allies of failing to sufficiently crack down on foreign jihadists crossing Turkish territory to join ISIL.
But Turkish authorities reversed course on jihadist cells after a spate of devastating attacks inside Turkey in 2015.