Iraqi forces captured a top member of ISIS, known to manage the terror group’s money, the country’s prime minister announced on Monday.
Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on Twitter that Sami Jassim al-Jaburi had been collared in a “complicated external operation”. Although al-Kadhimi did not specify the exact location where al-Jaboori was captured, a senior Iraqi military source told AFP he was arrested in Turkey.
It was not immediately clear whether the Turkish government knew about or was involved in the Iraqi operation.
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joel Harper, spokesman for the US-led coalition to defeat ISIS, declined to comment on the operation, but praised “our brave Iraqi allies as they routinely carry out devastating blows to the remnants.” terrorist group according to Reuters.
The US government offered up to $5 million in exchange for information on al-Jaboori’s arrest. The State Department’s Rewards for Justice program described him on its website as “a senior leader of ISIS”, “a legacy member” of his predecessor al Qaeda in Iraq and “assistant in managing finances for ISIS terrorist operations”. .
After ISIS captured large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, the State Department says, al-Jaburi served as its “minister of finance” – selling oil, natural gas, minerals and antiquities on the black market directed. In September 2015, he was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the Treasury Department.
Al-Jaboori is believed to be a close aide of late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up in 2019 when US forces raided his hideout in northwestern Syria. According to Reuters, al-Jaburi is only the second senior ISIS leader to be taken alive – making him a potential treasure trove of information about the group’s capabilities and ambitions in the state of Baghdadi.
“He is involved in the day-to-day operations of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, so strategically and tactically, it is an important capture for Iraqis,” said Hassan Hassan, editor-in-chief of New Lines magazine and an ISIS expert. Reuters.
Western military officials estimate that ISIS still has at least 10,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, most of them in remote areas. While the Iraqi government declared victory over ISIS in December 2017, the group has continued to launch attacks on police and military installations, killing dozens over the past year.
post with wires