Raids on al-Qaida cells launched by Turkish authorities last week once again netted “Sen,” an alumnus of Guantanamo Bay who has managed to be captured — and released — quite a few times over the last dozen years.
First turned over to U.S. authorities in December 2001 because of highly suspicious travel patterns (including fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan when the troops showed up), Sen was sent back to Turkey in 2003 after the United States failed to collect evidence to support detaining him, The Long War Journal reports.
In 2008, Sen was once again picked up, this time by Turkish authorities who suspected him of heading an al-Qaida cell, the Journal continues. Apparently, Sen was busy appealing a multi-year sentence when he was again arrested last week.
Sen is probably a senior al-Qaida leader, though newspaper reports calling him al-Qaida’s deputy leader are “most likely an exaggeration,” according to Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative think tank that runs The Long War Journal.
Turkey has been an unpredictable partner in efforts to handle the Syrian civil war.