The Malian Ministry of Defense says that the former head of the Islamic Police in the northern Malian city of Gao, who presided over a 10-month reign of terror, has been captured.

Defense ministry spokesman Col. Diarran Kone said soldiers arrested Aliou Mahamar Toure in the Gao region. An intelligence official, who could not be named because he was not authorized to speak, said Toure was driving a scooter near Bourem. He was carrying two pistols, but put up no resistance when a Malian military patrol stopped him.

Toure was a symbol of fear in Gao for most of 2012, when he presided over the town's version of Shariah justice. Under his watch, accused thieves were strapped to chairs and had their hands, and sometimes their feet, sawed off.