Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls Syria’s Greater Idlib, has reportedly arrested Abu Salah al-Uzbeki, the founder and former leader of the Uzbek terrorist group Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ).
Al-Uzbeki and two of his guards were apprehended by HTS security forces in the outskirt of Idlib’s city center on June 17, according to opposition sources.
The prominent terrorist, whose real name is “Sirajuddin Mukhtarov,” left HTS recently and joined so-called Ansar al-Din. The group and other al-Qaeda factions established a new operations room in Greater Idlib earlier this month.
Mukhtarov is reported responsible for the 2017 Saint Petersburg Metro bombing. At least fifteen people were killed in the terrorist attack.
According to Zaman al-Wsl, al-Uzbeki was not arrested for leaving HTS, but because of money he owed to the terrorist group.
“Hay’at asked al-Uzbeki to pay his debt more than once, however, the Uzbek leader was not responding to the requests of Hay’at,” a source familiar with the situation told the pro-opposition outlet.
Al-Uzbeki arrest maybe also related to his recent fallout with HTS’ leader, Abu Mohamad al-Julani, who is now working to subdue the KTJ’s Uzbek and Kyrgyz terrorists.