Iraqi security forces captured a senior ISIS official who was deputy to assassinated leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and oversaw his finances, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said.
- Jasim is a member of ISIS’s highest governing council, expert says
- Jasim has a $ 5million ($ 6.79million) bounty on his head
- He is believed to be only the second IS leader to be captured alive
Sami Jasim was held in “a complex external operation” by Iraqi intelligence services, Kadhimi wrote on Twitter, without giving further details or saying where he was captured.
“Although we will not comment on any specific operations, we applaud our courageous Iraqi partners as they lead and regularly deal destructive blows at the remains of (IS),” said Lt. Col. Joel Harper, spokesperson for the coalition. led by the United States.
Jasim, an Iraqi national, is one of the main leaders of the Islamic State who can provide valuable information on the operations of the group, said Hassan Hassan, an expert on the group.
Mr Hassan, author of a book on the Islamic State and editor-in-chief of New Lines magazine, said Jasim was a member of ISIS’s highest governing council, the delegate committee, which has between a half – dozen and a dozen members, and is a close aide to the group’s leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.
Jasim is only the second top ISIS leader to be captured alive, Hassan said.
His role has expanded from the group’s financial supervisor to coordinating activities between Iraq and Syria, Hassan said.
“He is involved in ISIS’s day-to-day operations in Syria and Iraq, so strategically and tactically this is an important capture for the Iraqis,” Hassan said.
“Usually (IS leaders) blow themselves up or fight to the bitter end.”
In Iraq, ISIS militants continue to carry out regular attacks on Iraqi state police, military and paramilitary units, and have killed dozens of police and military personnel over the past year.
While the Islamic State has been driven out of much of the territory it once held in Syria and Iraq several years ago, Western military officials estimate that it still has at least 10,000 fighters in the two countries. , usually in remote areas.
The US-led coalition worked with Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria against the remnants of the group.
Baghdadi, who declared himself the leader of a cross-border “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq in 2014, was killed during a US special forces operation in northwestern Syria in 2019.
According to the website of the US State Department’s anti-terrorism rewards program, Rewards for Justice, Jasim has “been instrumental in managing the finances of ISIS’s terrorist operations.”
Jasim has a $ 5 million ($ 6.79 million) bounty on his head as part of the State Department program.
“While he was ISIS’s deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, he was said to have been the equivalent of ISIS’s finance minister, overseeing the group’s income-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiques and minerals, “the statement said.
ABC / Son