Australian Islamic State recruiter 'arrested in Turkey'
An Australian recruiter for Islamic State (IS) has been confirmed arrested in Turkey, according to Australian media reports.
Neil Prakash, who took the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi after he converted to Islam, was captured by Turkish forces after they received intelligence from the Australian government.
The Turkish and Australian governments have refused to confirm the arrest, however Australia's ABC News quotes a Turkish official as a reliable source.
"As a matter of longstanding practice, the Australian government does not comment on matters of intelligence or law enforcement operations," said Michael Keenan, minister assisting the prime minister for counter-terrorism.
Prakash was born and raised in Melbourne and travelled to join in IS in Syria in 2013.
Australian police issued an arrest warrant for his alleged role in a plot to decapitate a police officer on Anzac Day, Australia's day of military remembrance, in 2015.
Prakash had been rumoured killed in a US airstrike in July, however this was never confirmed.
|Prakash was born and raised in Melbourne and travelled to join in IS in Syria in 2013
Prakash, the son of a Cambodian mother, said in an IS recruitment video that he had chosen to join IS following a trip to Cambodia in 2012. He said he had become "confused" after he told those around him of his faith in God.
Prakash later converted to Islam at a local community centre in Melbourne where he met Harun Mehicevic, a Bosnian Muslim who had settled in Melbourne. Mehicevic is allegedly the person who converted Prakash to extremist Islam.
Prakesh was active in producing professional-quality IS recruitment videos, often starring as the main spokesperson.
In one video titled "The story of Abu Khaled", Prakash said: "I also send a message to my brothers, my beloved brothers in Islam in Australia."
"Now is the time to rise, now is the time to wake up - you must start attacking before they attack you.""The media has portrayed that we come here, that we're social outcasts, that we have nobody, that we have to turn to Islam because we're just trouble-makers in the past, but this is far from the reality."