An Australian citizen believed to be a top recruiter for Islamic State has been arrested by Turkish authorities and will be subject to a formal extradition request from Australia, the Australian government said on Saturday. A man believed to be Neil Prakash, who was linked to several Australia-based attack plans, has been detained in Turkey and was being interrogated by Turkish authorities, a government spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
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“The arrest of the person we believe is Prakash is the result of close collaboration between Australian and Turkish authorities,” the spokesperson said.
Melbourne-born Prakash appeared in Islamic State videos and magazines and actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of terrorism, the Australian government said in May. The spokesperson said Australia was working closely with Turkish authorities and Prakash would be subject to a formal extradition request.
Australia said in May that Prakash was killed in an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, on April 29, based on US intelligence. But the New York Times reported on Friday that he had been wounded in the attack and survived. The Australian government subsequently confirmed he was alive.
Australia last year announced financial sanctions against Prakash, including threatening anyone giving financial assistance with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.