Australia awaits Turkey’s response on extradition of IS recruiter

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is awaiting Turkey’s response to a request to extradite a citizen believed to be a top recruiter for Islamic State who has been arrested in Turkey, the Australian government said on Monday.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the man is believed to be Neil Prakash, who has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and appeared in Islamic State videos and magazines.

“He’s obviously subject at the moment to the Turkish justice system and Turkish legal processes,” Australian justice minister Michael Keenan said on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“The most important thing of course is that people involved in allegations of this nature face justice.”

The Australian government had reported in May, based on U.S. intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, on April 29.

“It turned out that wasn’t the case,” Keenan said, adding that Australia had “confirmed as close as we can” that the man detained in Turkey is in fact Prakash.

The government alleges that Prakash, actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of terrorism, the Australian government said in May.

Australia last year announced financial sanctions against Prakash, including threatening anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook.; Editing by Jane Wardell and Marguerita Choy)


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