Saturday, November 27, 2021

Iraq Says It Has Arrested Top Leader in Islamic State Group

Iraq said Monday that it detained an Islamic State leader and longtime al-Qaeda fighter during a cross-border operation.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted the news, naming the man Sami Jassem, who oversees Islamic State’s financial operations and was deputy leader of IS under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He called it “one of the most complex” cross-border intelligence operations ever conducted by Iraqi forces.

Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press that Jassem was detained in a certain foreign country and taken to Iraq a few days ago. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the operation in the minutes.

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Jassem worked with al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, before he was killed by Americans in Iraq in 2016. He held various security positions in Iraq and moved to Syria in 2015 after the Islamic State – Qaeda offshoot, which declared its caliphate in 2014, became the deputy leader of the extremist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Al-Baghdadi was killed during a 2019 US raid in northwest Syria.

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