Azerbaijan extradites senior Gülenist Terror Group member to Turkey

Published 30.01.2019 16:01
Updated 30.01.2019 19:25

Azerbaijan has extradited a senior member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to Turkey, the latest development in joint efforts to eliminate the FETÖ threat across the world.

The suspect, named as Ibrahim E., is said to have been the printing press operator of the group's newspaper in Azerbaijan as well as one of the figures in charge of the FETÖ network's activities in the country. He was brought to Istanbul this week accompanied by two Azerbaijani police officers.

The suspect has been referred to the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Ankara Security Directorate for legal proceedings.

Last December, Turkish intelligence officers brought back another FETÖ suspect from Azerbaijan. The group is behind the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey.

Mehmet Gelen, who was wanted by the Turkish authorities, was arrested when trying to enter Belarus with a fake passport. He was later deported to Azerbaijan, confirmed security sources who talked to the AA on conditions of anonymity.

A teacher by profession, Gelen worked for FETÖ schools in Azerbaijan until the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey which led to the closure of the FETÖ-linked schools in the Caucasian country. Gelen was also wanted for being a member of an armed terrorist group.

Meanwhile, Zübeyir G., another FETÖ member who was heading a company in Nigeria, was remanded by police in an airport in Turkey since he had an arrest warrant issued for charges on being a member of an "armed terrorist organization."

The suspect was brought to Ankara and arrested within the scope of investigation launched by the prosecutor's office.

It was also revealed that Zübeyir G. had shared content praising the FETÖ on social media.

The FETÖ has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.

The group is accused of using its infiltrators in the military for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 251 people and injured some 2,200 others. An unknown number of Gülenists, mostly high-ranking figures, fled Turkey when the coup attempt was thwarted.

A large number of Gülenists had already left the country prior to the coup attempt after Turkish prosecutors launched investigations into other crimes of the terrorist group.

Turkey has so far brought back more than 80 members of FETÖ from 18 countries in its global manhunt, which has ranged from Kosovo to Malaysia.

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