Abu Ghaith had previously been arrested in Ankara, Turkey’s capitol, in February, but he could not be extradited to the United States without an international warrant for his arrest, UPI reported. A Turkish court ruled that Abu Ghaith entered Turkey illegally from Iran on a fake passport and was ordered to be deported. As a result of that ruling, Abu Ghaith was seized in Jordan by CIA agents while en route to Kuwait.
Abu Ghaith was a former Al Qaeda spokesman, according to Agence France-Presse, which also reported that United States Secretary of State John Kerry was visiting Ankara as Ghaith was deported.
Abu Ghaith, who was staying at a luxury hotel in Turkey’s capitol before the CIA was tipped off to his location, is considered “stateless” and had lost his Kuwaiti citizenship after videos emerged that showed him praising the September 11 attacks on the U.S. and promising more violent attacks on America.
Although Abu Ghaith was seized in Jordan, it is unclear if Jordan cooperated with the CIA on his capture, Today’s Zaman reported. Abu Ghaith had initially requested to be deported to Iran, but it denied the request, Hürriyet Daily News reported. The CIA has reportedly taken Abu Ghaith to the U.S. after seizing him in Jordan.
The Turkish foreign ministry did not comment on the reports of Abu Ghaith's capture, while officials from the United States' embassy in Ankara said they are aware of the reports, according to the AFP.