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Turkish authorities reportedly captured and then released Friday morning the fugitive son-in-law of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden after he was allegedly caught entering the country illegally, according to Turkish press reports.
Suleiman M., bin Laden’s son-in-law, was reportedly arrested in Ankara by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization after United States intelligence sources in Washington, D.C., informed Turkish authorities of his location, according to a report in Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
A CNN Turkey reporter additionally tweeted early this morning that “bin Laden’s son in law was caught in Ankara,” according to a translation of her tweet in Turkish.
Suleiman, who had allegedly been hiding in Iran since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was quickly released from Turkish custody and will likely be extradited back to Iran, according to the report.
The arrest and subsequent release of Suleiman comes on the same day a suicide bomber killed two people during an attack on the U.S. embassy in Turkey.
U.S. authorities want Suleiman for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities. Suleiman’s Kuwaiti citizenship was revoked after the U.S. issued an arrest warrant for him.
Turkey’s Daily Milliyet newspaper reported U.S. intelligence officials learned Suleiman had entered Turkey using a forged passport and later captured him at a hotel in Ankara.
Suleiman was subsequently released from custody.
“A Turkish court decided to release [Suleiman] on the grounds that he had not committed any crimes other than entering the country with a fake passport,” Hurriyet Daily News noted in its report.
It is suspected the U.S. had hoped to extradite and interrogate Suleiman over his alleged ties to terrorist activities.
A State Department spokesperson did not respond to a Free Beacon request for more information about the report.
“Suleiman is reported to have disappeared from an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and to have been kept under control in a special camp in Iran,” World Bulletin, an Istanbul-based news site reported. “After having been removed by Iran from the camp, he arrived in Turkey, allegedly seeking political asylum.”
Regional experts criticized Turkey for failing to hand Suleiman over to this U.S.
“That Turkey would rebuff a U.S. extradition request for Bin Laden’s fugitive son-in-law on the same day that a suicide bomber strikes the U.S. Embassy in Ankara shows Prime Minister [Tayyip] Erdogan’s true colors,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon advisor on Iran and Iraq who frequently writes about terrorist movements.
“It is time for congressmen in the Congressional Turkey Caucus to resign their membership; it has become as much a mark of shame,” Rubin said, explaining that Turkey has drifted away from its once-close relationship with the U.S. “No junket to Istanbul is worth endorsing Turkey’s cheerleading for terror and embrace of extremism.”