Iraq announced on Monday that it had detained a top ISIS leader and a longtime al-Qaeda member in a cross-border operation.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted the news, identifying the man as Sami Jasim, who oversees the financial operations of the Islamic State group and was deputy head of ISIS under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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Al-Kadhimi described it as “one of the most difficult cross-border intelligence operations” ever carried out by Iraqi forces.
Jasim has a $ 5 million bounty on his head from the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, which describes him as having “played a pivotal role in managing the finances of ISIS terrorist operations.”
“While he was an ISIS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, Jasim was said to have been the equivalent of ISIS ‘finance minister, overseeing the group’s income-generating operations from the illicit sale of oil, of gas, antiques and minerals, âthe website says.
Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press that Jasim was detained in an identified foreign country and transported to Iraq a few days ago. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak about the operation on file.
Jassem worked with the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian activist who was killed in an American airstrike in Iraq in 2006. He has held various security positions in Iraq and has moved to Syria in 2015, after the Islamic State group. , an offshoot of Al Qaeda, declared its caliphate in 2014 and became deputy to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the extremist group.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US-led raid in northwestern Syria in 2019 under former US President Donald Trump.