(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Turkey Hands over Baghdadi-Linked ISIS Leader to Iraq
He added that he met Baghdadi in the summer of 2017 for the last time.
Iraq’s judiciary announced that the Central Criminal Court of Iraq, or CCCI, has upheld confessions given by the detained ISIS official, whose name was not disclosed.
He was first arrested in Turkey and then handed over to Iraq following extensive Iraqi intelligence efforts.
Judge Abdul Sattar al-Birqdar, in an official statement, said the CCCI has issued the documented confessions of the detained suspect, in which he admits affiliation with ISIS and meeting with Baghdadi.
Baghdadi disappeared after ISIS’ defeat in its main Syria and Iraq strongholds. Many reports claimed his death, but none were confirmed.
“The arrest was made by virtue of joint efforts of Iraqi intelligence service and the Turkish security services,” Birqdar declared.
“The suspect confirmed that the last meeting between them (Baghdadi and the suspect) was in July last year,” Birqdar said.
He added that the detainee was a member of the general committee overseeing ISIS affairs after dividing the organization into five “caliphates” in Iraq, the Levant, Africa, Europe and the Gulf.
The suspect also claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack which targeted Iraq’s Al Tarmia town, located north of Baghdad, in the hopes of shaking up national security prior to elections scheduled for next week.
Strategic and military experts told Asharq Al-Awsat that what happened in Al Tarmia is a clear breach of security.
“There is an imbalance, whether in the nature of investigating intelligence efforts or the speed of response by the security services,” said Dr. Moataz Mohieddin. “There are still sleeper cells in these areas.”