Iraq says it has arrested top leader in Islamic State group
BAGHDAD, (AP) — Iraq claimed Monday that it had detained a leader in the Islamic State group and a long-standing al-Qaida operative in a crossing-border operation.
Iraqi Prime Minster Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted this news. He identified the man as Sami Jassem. Sami Jassem is responsible for the Islamic State group’s financial operations. He was also the deputy leader under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
He called it “one of the most difficult cross-border intelligence operations ever undertaken by Iraqi forces.”
Iraqi intelligence officers told The Associated Press Jassem was taken into custody in an unidentified foreign country and then transported to Iraq a few days ago. Because they weren’t authorized to discuss the operation publicly, they spoke under condition of anonymity.
Jassem was a member of al-Qaida’s Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was a Jordanian militant and was killed by a U.S. Airstrike on Iraq in 2006.. After the Islamic State group declared its caliphate, a branch of al-Qaida, he moved to Syria in 2015,. He was then made deputy to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the extremist group’s leader).
Al-Baghdadi died in a U.S.-led attack in northwestern Syria in 2019.