Iraq Kurds Hand Over Japan National Suspected Of IS Ties

Iraq Kurds hand over Japan national suspected of IS ties

ARBIL, Japan, Nov 7, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 07th Nov, 2016 ) - The authorities of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Monday handed over a Japanese national detained last month on suspicion of ties to the Islamic State jihadist group. "On October 19, 2016, a Japanese national, Mr. Kohsuke Tsuneoka, also known by the nom de guerre Shamil K. Tsuneoka, was detained... for links to the Islamic State," a statement from the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said.

It said the Japanese man was detained near Mount Zardak, a strategic hill east of the city of Mosul. Mosul is the jihadists' last major bastion in the country and Iraqi forces, including Kurdish peshmerga, launched a huge multi-pronged offensive to retake it on October 17. "An investigation by our Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) found he was in contact with ISIL members through his smartphone," the statement said, using another acronym for IS.

"Our security services remained in dialogue with Japanese authorities throughout his detention about the potential charges against him. It was decided to hand over Mr. Tsuneoka to Japanese authorities," it said. The KRSC said the man left the country Monday via the main airport in Arbil, the capital of the Iraq's Kurdish region. Tsuneoka was described in local media reports at the time of his arrest as a journalist who had come to the region to cover the offensive on Mosul.