Iraq has captured Sami Jasim, a senior member of the Islamic State (IS) group, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Monday.
Jasim, who allegedly served as deputy to former ISIS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been arrested by intelligence services “outside Iraq’s borders,” Kadhemi said on Twitter.
“While our [Iraqi security forces] heroes focused on securing elections, their [Iraqi national intelligence services] colleagues were leading a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim “, added the Prime Minister, without providing further details on the operation.
Jasim allegedly oversaw the finances of the IS group. He previously worked with former Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi until the latter was killed by US forces in 2006.
Baghdadi was also killed in a U.S. special forces raid in northwestern Syria in 2019.
The US State Department at the time offered a reward for information to locate ISIS group leaders it had identified, including Jasim.
According to the American Rewards for Justice program, Jasim “would have served as the equivalent of (…) Minister of Finance, overseeing the group’s income-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiques and minerals ”.
In September 2015, the US Treasury Department labeled him a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)