Iraq has arrested a top leader and financier in the Islamic State group, with the country’s prime minister describing the operation as one of the “toughest” cross-border intelligence operations carried out by Iraqi forces.
Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted the news on Monday, identifying the man as Sami Jasim, a man who served as deputy leader of Isis under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and for a long time. He was also a member of Al-Qaeda.
Jassim is headed by a $5 million reward from the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, which describes him as an “assistant in managing finances for IS terrorist operations.”
“While our ISF heroes focused on securing elections, their [Iraqi Intelligence Services] Sami Jasim, who was in charge of Daesh finances, and was conducting a complex external operation to capture a deputy of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
“May Iraq and our brave heroes be immortal,” he said.
According to the US State Department website, Jasim was effectively Islamic State’s finance minister.
The website said, “While serving as IS’s deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, Jasim reportedly served as IS’s finance minister, managing the group’s revenues from illegal sales of oil, gas, antiquities and minerals. -Used to oversee the creation works,” the website said.
Najam al-Jubouri, governor of Nineveh, where ISIS had its main stronghold in Iraq, said he was detained in a country abroad, and taken to Iraq.
Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press Also said that he was brought to Iraq a few days ago.
Mr al-Jubouri, who was an Iraqi army commander against ISIS in the Battle of Mosul, said that the loss of Sami Jasim would not stop ISIS’ capabilities, a significant achievement for Iraq’s intelligence services and a great success for the jihadist group. It was a blow.
“This proves that Iraq has better intelligence than ever before. Even if the group never relied on any one person or individuals, it is a huge blow to them. And a significant arrest for us,” he said.
Jasim worked with al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq in 2006. He held various security positions in Iraq, and moved to Syria in 2015 after the Islamic State group. The al-Qaeda branch, declared its caliphate in 2014 and became a deputy of the extremist group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US-led raid in northwestern Syria in 2019 under former US President Donald Trump.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /