Turkish court rejects Australia plea to extradite Islamic State terrorist

Australia is planning to work closely with Turkey for the return of a 27-year-old Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash to face justice after a Turkish court rejected their extradition request on Thursday (July 19).

Prakash is linked to failed terror plots in Australia and the US. The former rapper has also appeared in several IS propaganda videos.

Judge Ismail Deniz of Kilis criminal court rejected the extradition plea saying the extradition terms had not been made available to the court.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed disappointment with the decision of the court while Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the IS member should rot in the Gaziantep H-Type maximum security prison located in south-eastern Turkey.

Australia may appeal the court’s decision. If the appeal is upheld, Prakash, who poses a threat to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, may be sentenced to life.

Prakash believes democracy is not legitimate whereas Islam is justice.

While living in Australia, Prakash had tried to project Islamic State as a brotherhood to lure young recruits. Among them was a Melbourne teenager Sevdet Besim whom he got involved in a failed plot to behead a police officer in 2015. Besim was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Syrian security forces arrested Prakash in 2016 in a joint operation with Australian Federal Police when he tried to enter Turkey with false papers.

Prakash is expected to reappear in Kilis court on September 27 to answer domestic charges. If the charges are proved, he will face 25 years in jail. If proved innocent, his chances of walking free cannot be ruled out.

Prakash attended Melbourne’s controversial Al-Furqan Islamic Centre after converting. The centre was a training ground for budding terrorists. It was finally shuttered on 23 April, 2015.

Prakash left for Syria in 2013 where he changed his name to Abu Khaled al-Cambodi. US put him on the kill list after he got involved in a failed plot to attack the Statue of Liberty in New York.