One of the top commanders of the jihadist movement "Islamic State", Al Bara Shishani has been detained in Ukraine following an operation involving the Ukrainian and Georgian security services and the CIA. Shishani was born a Georgian citizen, named Cezar Tokhosashvili.
Shishani has served as a deputy to the more famous Abu Omar al-Shishani, the man the Pentagon has described as the "minister of war" of the jihadist group.
After the latter was killed in 2016, Shishani fled to Turkey and in 2018 used a fake passport to travel to Ukraine, where he continued to coordinate IS activities, the Ukrainian Security Serrvice, the SBU said in a statement.
He was detained in the Kiev region near a private home where he resided, the statement said, without saying when the operation took place.
"A portrait examination has proved that the detained foreigner is indeed a wanted leader of the Islamic State," according to the SBU.
Both Shishani and al-Shishani were said to have been born in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge region near the border with Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan.
The arrest of Shishani comes amidst reports that many of the jihadist fighters who had left the republics of the former Soviet Union to join Islamic State were now returning. If this proves correct this can cause a serious security threat, including for Russia.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Ali Bara Shishani
Commonspace.eu was among two thousand websites with servers in Georgia that were victims of the cyber attack