ISIS finance chief captured by Iraqi forces, Iraqi PM says


By Aqeel Najim and Mostafa Salem, CNN

Iraqi forces have captured Sami Jasim, deputy to former ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Iraqi prime minister said in a statement on Monday.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi did not disclose details of the operation, but in a statement posted on Twitter he said Jasim was being held outside Iraq. He did not disclose the location or date of Jasim’s arrest.

“While our [Iraqi Security Forces] heroes focused on securing elections, their [Iraqi National Intelligence Service] colleagues were leading a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim, who was in charge of Daesh’s finances, and a deputy of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, ”Al-Kadhimi said.

Jasim, also known as “Abu Asya”, had been the financial supervisor of the Al-Baghdadi terrorist group since 2015, according to Iraqi security expert Fadel Abu Regheef. He lived in Mosul in 2012, until he met Baghdadi the same year, Abu Regheef told CNN.

In 2015, the US Treasury Department labeled Jasim a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, a designation that imposes financial sanctions on terrorists and those who support terrorists or acts of terrorism.

In 2016, the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) reported that Jasim and an aide were killed during a joint operation with US special forces.

However, in 2019, the US State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program awarded a bounty of $ 5 million to Jasim (also known as Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jabur) and two other senior leaders. ISIS, demonstrating that US authorities believed he was still alive. “Muhammad al-Jaburi was instrumental in managing the finances of ISIS’s terrorist operations,” the State Department said.

Baghdadi became the head of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2010. In 2013, the ISI declared its absorption of an al-Qaeda-backed militant group in Syria and Baghdadi declared that his group will now be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. (EIIL or ISIS).

Later that year, Baghdadi supporters invaded Raqqa for the first time. This started their ambitions in Syria and in June 2014 led to the establishment of what they called an Islamic “caliphate”.

They had rulers, an army and briefly a currency, but a little over three years later they were reduced to fighting for pieces of Mosul in Iraq and the subject of a major offensive against their de facto capital in Raqqa.

ISIS’s control over Mosul officially collapsed in July 2017, when then Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said troops had recaptured the metropolis.

Baghdadi was killed by US forces in a raid on Syria in 2019. Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces provided “initial intelligence” which “was very helpful,” US Central Command General Frank said. McKenzie after the operation.

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CNN’s Kara Fox, Ryan Browne and Phil Mattingly contributed reporting.


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