Turkey has arrested and is now interrogating Ebu Cihad al-Din al-Nasir Ubeyde, a senior Islamic State (IS) member, codenamed Yusuf Huda, who is behind the attacks in 20 countries, the Turkish Interior Minister said.
"We have captured a very senior Daesh (IS) member who is known as a bomber, bomb-maker, and trainer for bomb attacks," said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in an interview published in daily Hurriyet on Friday.
"He is the one contacting the suicide bombers. The terrorist is the mastermind in the attacks in Russia in 2018 and a shopping center in Germany's Hamburg," he added.
"He has trained Daesh members all over the world on face-to-face military training, bomb vehicle preparation, suicide bomb preparation, and poison assassination, and was recruiting and training would-be suicide bombers," Soylu said.
The Turkish security forces conducted 1,288 operations against IS in the first 10 months of 2019 and detained more than 3,500 Turkish nationals and 2,600 foreign nationals, he said.
Turkey's anti-IS operations resulted in the arrest of 1,686 foreigners and around 3,000 Turkish nationals, Soylu added.
Amid unending rows with European countries, Turkey declared that it would send thousands of captured IS militants, mostly from Europe back to their countries even if their citizenships were canceled.
Turkey has started to send captured foreign IS members back to their original countries. As of Nov. 11, more than 15 foreign IS suspects have been so far sent back to their countries.
Ankara will repatriate most of IS detainees to their home countries by the end of 2019. "Turkey was not a hotel for IS fighters," Soylu said and criticized European countries for their reluctance to take back citizens captured and prisoned by the Turkish authorities.
Among the deported or being deported IS suspects were German, Danish, British, American, Dutch, French, Irish citizens, according to the local media reports.