Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Iraqi security forces have captured a senior member of the Islamic State group who was deputy to assassinate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and monitor its finances, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said.

Sami Jasim was detained in “a complex external operation” by Iraqi intelligence services, Kadhimi wrote on Twitter without giving further details or saying where he had been captured.

“Although we do not comment on any specific operation, we applaud our brave Iraqi partners as they regularly lead and wreak havoc on the remnants of (IS),” said Lieutenant Colonel Joel Harper, spokesman for the US-led coalition.

Jasim, an Iraqi citizen, is one of the Islamic State’s core leaders who can offer valuable information about the group’s operations, said Hassan Hassan, an expert on the group.

Hassan, author of a book on Islamic State and editor-in-chief of New Lines Magazine, said Jasim is a member of Islamic State’s top management council, the delegated committee that has between half a dozen and a dozen members, and is close to the group’s help. leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.

Jasim is only the second leading IS leader to be taken alive, Hassan said.

His role was expanded from overseeing the group’s economy to coordinating activities between Iraq and Syria, Hassan said.

“He is involved in the day – to – day operations of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, so strategically and tactically this is a significant catch for the Iraqis,” Hassan said.

“Usually (IS leaders) blow themselves up or fight to the last.”

Women and children arrive at a screening point near Baghouz, Syria
Islamic State “caliphate” finally fell in March 2019, when women and children fled the area.(ABC News: Tom Hancock)

In Iraq, IS militants still carry out regular attacks on police, army and Iraqi paramilitary units, killing dozens of police and military personnel in the past year.

While Islamic State was driven out of most of the territory it once had in Syria and Iraq several years ago, Western military officials estimate that it still has at least 10,000 fighters across the two countries, typically in remote areas.

The US-led coalition has worked with Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian democratic forces in Syria against remnants of the group.

Baghdadi, who declared himself the leader of a cross-border “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq in 2014, was killed in an operation by US special forces in northwestern Syria in 2019.

According to the website of the US State Department’s anti-terrorism program, Rewards for Justice, Jasim has been “instrumental in directing the economy to ISIS ‘terrorist operations”.

Jasim has a bounty of $ 5 million ($ 6.79) million on his head under the State Department program.

“While acting as ISIS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, he reportedly acted as the equivalent of ISIS’s finance minister and oversees the group’s revenue-generating operations from the illegal sale of oil, gas, antiques and minerals,” it said.

ABC / wires

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