Turkish security forces have detained Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Suleiman Abu Gheith in Ankara following a tipoff from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Turkish media reported on Saturday.
The former spokesman of the terror network reportedly escaped Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and settled in a camp in Iran.
The U.S. intelligence learned that he entered Turkey on a false passport and informed the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) about his location. He was detained at a hotel in Çankaya district of Ankara, Hurryiet Daily News reported, quoting the Daily Milliyet.
The London-based Asharq al-Awsat quoted a source close to Abu Gheith’s family as saying that he intended to seek political asylum in Turkey.
The man is the husband of Fatima Bin Laden who currently lives in Saudi Arabia. Abu Gheith is a Kuwaiti national who had citizenship revoked.
Asharq al-Awsat quoted a statement by the London-based Islamic Observatory, specialized in the news of Islamist movements, as saying that “Turkish authorities arrested the Kuwait national Suleiman Jassim Abu Gheith” adding that “his Kuwaiti nationality had been stripped from him.”
The arrest of Abu Gheith came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the U.S. embassy in Ankara killing a Turkish security guard and wounding three other people.
The bombing at the entrance to the highly-fortified embassy in an upmarket area of the capital on Friday was the latest in a series of attacks on missions in the Muslim world, highlighting the vulnerability of the country’s 70,000 diplomats.
The White House strongly condemned the bombing, saying it was “clearly an act of terror” while saying it did not know yet who was responsible.
However Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bomber was a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), a radical left-wing group blamed for several attacks since the late 1970s including suicide bombings and attacks on prominent figures.