Bloomberg Opinion Columnist Eli Lake has made a valid point in a recent op-ed piece noting that the ISIS chief and the organization’s spokesman were both killed in areas under Turkish scrutiny. Given the close ties of the Turkish regime with Jihadist terrorists, as well as its iron-fisted intelligence agencies it is difficult to imagine that they were in the dark about the whereabouts of the men killed, and perhaps others.
Eli Lake writes in his op-ed piece:
“As U.S. intelligence analysts comb through electronic and paper documents seized last weekend from the lair of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one question is foremost on their minds: How was the Islamic State leader able to find refuge in a Syrian province secured by the Turkish military and its proxy forces?
Three U.S. national security officials told me that they want to know more about Turkey’s knowledge of Baghdadi’s whereabouts. One important task for the team now going through the material seized in the Baghdadi raid and another raid that killed organization’s spokesman, Abul Hassan al-Muhajir, is to map out the relationship between Turkey’s intelligence service and Islamic State.
Both men were hiding close to the Turkish border in Syrian territory. Muhajir was found in Jarabulus, a town in the Aleppo province patrolled by Turkish forces. Baghdadi was found in Idlib province, where there are numerous Turkish military checkpoints.
It’s possible, of course, that two of the most wanted terrorists in the world managed to slip under the noses of a NATO ally. But U.S. intelligence officials are suspicious. And this suspicion is based not just on where Muhajir and Baghdadi were found in Syria.
In the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the Turkish intelligence service allowed foreign recruits from Europe and Africa to travel through Turkey into Syria. At the time, Turkey pursued a policy of regime change in Syria, supporting many jihadist fighters against the government of Bashar al-Assad.”
read more of this excellent analysis HERE.