The prime minister of Iraq announced on Monday (October 11) that a senior member of the Islamic State (IS) and close associate of its founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been captured in “one of the most difficult” cross-border intelligence operations ever conducted by Iraqi security forces. He gave no other details.
The arrested IS operative is Sami Jasim, who used to be in charge of the finances of the terrorist organisation and a deputy of al-Baghdadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi wrote on social media.
“While our ISF [Iraqi security forces] heroes focused on securing the elections, their INIS [Iraqi national intelligence services] colleagues were conducting a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim, who was in charge of Daesh finance, and a deputy of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Long live Iraq, and our brave heroes,” al-Kadhimi posted on Twitter.
While our ISF heroes focused on securing the elections, their INIS colleagues were conducting a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim, who was in charge of Daesh finance, and a deputy of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Long live Iraq, and our brave heroes.
— Mustafa Al-Kadhimi مصطفى الكاظمي (@MAKadhimi) October 11, 2021
With United States special forces very close to capturing him, al-Baghdadi, the self-declared “caliph” of the IS, blew himself up in October 2019.
When and where
No details of the operation that captured Jasim were immediately available, even though Al Jazeera reported that the Iraqi government “considers this a great achievement as he (Sami Jasim) was responsible for a lot of operations in Iraq and Syria”.
The Associated Press, quoting unnamed Iraqi intelligence officials, reported that Jasim, who was also known as Hajji Hamid, was detained in an identified foreign country and taken to Iraq a few days ago.
A report in the BBC referred to a report in the news agency AFP, which quoted a senior Iraqi military source as saying Jasimi was captured in Turkey.
Again, there was no confirmation, and there was no immediate response from Turkish authorities to the report, the BBC said.
Role in the IS
Jasim was wanted by the US that had offered a reward of $5 million for information that led to his capture.
Jasim’s bio on the State Department’s Rewards for Justice web site states: “Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi, also known as Hajji Hamid, is a senior leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a legacy member of ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI). Muhammad al-Jaburi has been instrumental in managing finances for ISIS’s terrorist operations.
“While serving as ISIS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, he reportedly served as the equivalent of ISIS’s finance minister, supervising the group’s revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities, and minerals.
“The US Department of the Treasury designated him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in September 2015, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which places financial sanctions on terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.”
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox