Turkey to extradite American IS suspect

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Turkey says it will extradite a US citizen suspected of being an Islamic State militant after he was refused entry to Greece and stranded on the border between the two countries.

The alleged militant was stuck at the border for four days.

According to reports, he has been named as Muhammed Darwis B and is said to be a US citizen of Jordanian descent.

Ongoing repatriation
Turkey is currently expelling a number of foreign Islamic State fighters.

The country’s interior ministry said it had started the process of extraditing the man and the US had agreed to take him back.

“Upon guarantees that he will be taken back by the United States and that travel documents will be procured, the necessary proceedings have been started to send him to the United States,” he said.

Muhammed Darwis B was deported from Turkey on Monday as part of a drive to repatriate captured jihadist fighters held in its prisons.

A Turkish official told reporters that he had refused to be returned to the US and instead asked to be sent to Greece.

However Greek police said they refused him entry when he tried to cross the border near the Greek town of Kastanies.

The fate of foreign IS fighters has been a key question since the defeat of the group in territories it controlled in Syria and Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says 2,500 such militants are in prison in Turkey.

According to the George Washington University Program on Extremism, 82 Americans are known to have travelled abroad to join jihadist groups since 2012. Of those, 19 have returned (15 men and four women) and 13 have been charged.

A spokesperson from the US State Department said it was “aware of reports of the detainment of a US citizen by Turkish authorities” but had no further comment due to privacy considerations.

 

Christopher Ojilere