Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Jalal Ahmad, a self-confessed former Islamic State (ISIS) qadi — a judge who presides over Islamic law (Sharia) courts — in Mosul, Iraq in 2016, has come under scrutiny after it was revealed that he entered Turkey as an asylum seeker and was granted refugee status.
According to reports, Ahmad had been working in a textile workshop in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, which is known to have a significant migrant community, including people from Mosul who fled to Turkey after ISIS’s 2014 offensive.
Ahmad’s case raises questions about the effectiveness of Turkey’s refugee screening process and the potential risks associated with harbouring individuals with links to extremist organisations.
The Istanbul police announced Ahmad’s arrest on 1 June. He is reported to have initially denied the allegations against him during police interrogation, however, when presented with photographic evidence, he admitted to acting as a Sharia judge in Mosul in 2016.