Turkish terror suspect detained in Kyrgyzstan asks for political asylum

A Turkish journalist, who was detained on May 2 in Kyrgyzstan on suspicion of having ties to al Qaeda, has renewed a request for political asylum, local media said.

Ali Osman Zor (43) is a member of the Great East Islamic Raiders Front extremist group, which took responsibility for a terrorist attack in Istanbul in November 2003 that killed 22 people. The Turkish government listed the group as a terrorist organization with probable ties to al Qaeda in 2007.

Zor worked in Kyrgyzstan for several Turkish-language print and Internet publications. He first asked for political asylum in Kyrgyzstan about nine months ago, citing long-term persecution by the Turkish authorities.

His arrest, on the same day Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in a U.S. operation, came after a request from the Turkish government for his extradition.

Kyrgyzstan’s Delo ΓΌ newspaper said Zor had in the past distributed al Qaeda’s magazine in Turkey.

Zog’s criticism of Ankara and calls to overthrow the Turkish government played a major role in his persecution, the Kyrgyz www.24.kg news website reported on Wednesday.

A Kyrgyz human rights group told the agency that Zog may not face extradition while his political asylum request is under review.

BISHKEK, May 11 (RIA Novosti)

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