Australian terrorist Neil Prakash arrested in Turkey
One of Australia's most wanted terrorists, Neil Prakash, has been arrested in Turkey months after a drone strike that was believed to have killed him in Iraq.
His arrest by Australian and Turkish authorities has raised the possibility that he may be extradited to Australia to face a raft of charges following his three-year stint as one of Islamic State's most influential recruiters, propagandists and attack planners.
The federal government said in May that the former Melbourne man, who has been involved in several foiled Australian terrorist plots, was killed following the targeted strike.
However, a New York Times article published on Thursday said he was wounded, but survived.
Australian authorities confirmed the paper's claims that he was arrested by a Middle Eastern government in the past few weeks.
Fairfax Media has been told Prakash was detected in Turkey and Australian authorities were involved in his arrest. It's understood he didn't hand himself in.
Australian authorities are now in talks with their Turkish counterparts about what charges he may face in Turkey.
If they are considered to be relatively minor, Australia will push to have him extradited to Australia.
The AFP issued a warrant for Prakash's arrest in 2015 for being a member of a terrorist organisation and for incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.
He could also face a raft of other charges related to foreign fighting, recruitment and attack planning.
Since leaving Melbourne in 2013, the Muslim convert rose to become a key conduit for foreign fighters travelling to the conflict zone.
Prakash, who goes by the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, was alleged to be communicating with a group of Melbourne men plotting an Anzac Day terrorist attack last year.
He was also intercepted talking to a 16-year-old boy from Auburn, in Sydney's west, who was arrested on Anzac Day this year as he allegedly met an undercover officer who he thought could sell him a gun.
In an interview with Sky News on May 5, Attorney General George Brandis announced that Prakash was one of about 12 Islamic State officials hit by a drone strike while at a meeting in suburban Mosul.
He described Prakash as "the highest value target from an Australian point of view in the Middle East".
"He was the individual, more than any other, who had been actively inspiring and inciting domestic terrorism attacks within Australia... If you want to describe him as Australia's No. 1 terrorist that wouldn't be far from the mark," he said.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said that original advice came from the US government and the Australian government has limited ability to confirm deaths in Syria and Iraq.
"These places are war zones, with many ungoverned spaces," he said this afternoon.
"And there have been people who have been reported dead and are later found to be alive."