Revealed: Turkey helped Iraqi intelligence capture senior Islamic State figure

Syria–Turkey border

AN ELABORATE OPERATION WHICH, carried out jointly by Iraqi and Turkish intelligence, led to the arrest of one of the most senior officials of the Islamic State to be ever captured alive, according to sources. As intelNews reported on Monday, the Iraqi government announced the capture of Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi, who served as deputy to the Islamic State’s late spiritual leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Jasim, also known by the name Abu Asya, was the Islamic State’s treasurer during the group’s heyday, when it controlled territory equal to the size of Germany in Syria and Iraq. He survived the demise of the Islamic State’s territorial power, but continued serving in the organization’s financial arm under its current chief, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi. The Iraqi government announced Jasim’s capture on Sunday with a brief statement, which said he had been seized in a “complex operation outside the borders” of Iraq. No further details were made available.

On Tuesday, however, the Reuters news agency reported that Jasim was arrested on Turkish soil in a joint Turkish-Iraqi intelligence operation. Citing “a senior regional security source and two Iraqi security sources”, Reuters said that Jasim had been under surveillance in northwestern Syria for several months by Iraqi and Turkish intelligence. He was reportedly arrested by Turkish intelligence shortly after crossing into Turkey, where he was lured in an operation that included participants from Iraqi intelligence and “local security forces”. Reuters notes that the phrase “local security forces” most likely refers to Turkish backed Syrian militias, who operate along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The Reuters report also points out that Jasim’s arrest may illustrates a deepening cooperation between Turkish and Iraqi intelligence against the remnants of the Islamic State that continue to operate in northwestern Syria, a region that is largely under the control of Turkey. Turkish, Iraqi and American officials who were approached by Reuters refused to comment on the report.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 13 October 2021 | Permalink

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