Lebanon detains wife of ISIL leader -UPDATED

The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with "foreign intelligence apparatus".

Lebanon detains wife of ISIL leader -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Lebanese army detained a wife and daughter of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria nine days ago, security officials said on Tuesday.

The woman was identified as Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi, by a Lebanese security official and a senior political source.

The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with "foreign intelligence apparatus".

The arrest is a blow to Baghdadi and could be used as a bargaining chip against his group which has captured many foreign, Iraqi and Syrian prisoners.

A senior Lebanese security official said Baghdadi's wife had been travelling with one of their daughters, contradicting earlier reports that it was his son. DNA tests were conducted to verify it was Baghdadi's child, the official said.

They were detained in northern Lebanon. Investigators were questioning her at the headquarters of the Lebanese defence ministry, the security officials said.

Dulaimi was one of 150 women released from a Syrian government jail in March as part of a prisoner swap that led to the release of 13 nuns taken captive by al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria, according to media reports at the time.

A source with contacts with Iraqi intelligence said the captured woman was an Iraqi wife of Baghdadi's, but could not confirm the name. There was cooperation between Iraqi and Lebanese authorities leading up to her capture, the source said.

Baghdadi has three wives, two Iraqis and one Syrian, according to tribal sources in Iraq.

There was no immediate reaction from ISIL websites to the arrest.

ISIL has seized wide areas of Iraq and Syria, Lebanon's neighbour to the east.

The Lebanese security forces have waged a crackdown on ISIL sympathisers in Lebanon and the intelligence services have been extra vigilant on the borders with Syria.

They have arrested over the past few months a number of militants suspected of staging attacks to expand ISIL influence in the country neighbouring Syria.

A U.S.-led alliance is seeking to roll back ISIL's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to "degrade and ultimately destroy" Baghdadi's group, which is seeking to reshape the Middle East.

Spillover from the Syrian conflict has repeatedly jolted Lebanon. Militants affiliated to the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and ISIL are demanding the release of some prisoners held by the Lebanese authorities in exchange for 27 members of the Lebanese security forces taken captive in August.

Baghdadi, an Iraqi, called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name last month.

The United States is offering $10 million for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of Baghdadi, an Iraqi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarai.

Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2014, 14:05
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