Iraq Reject Detention of Baghdadi’s wife in Lebanon

Iraq Reject Detention of Baghdadi’s wife in Lebanon
Wed Dec 3, 2014 12:24:57

Iraq's Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that a woman detained by Lebanese authorities was not the wife of so-called “Islamic State” leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the sister of a man convicted of bombings in southern Iraq.

"The one detained by Lebanese authorities was Saja Abdul Hamid al-Dulaimi, sister of Omar Abdul Hamid al-Dulaimi who is detained by authorities and sentenced to death for his participation in ... explosions," ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan told Reuters.

He said Baghdadi had two wives, but "there is no wife in the name of Saja al-Dulaimi”.

Lebanese authorities detained a woman and young boy believed to be the wife and son of the reclusive ISIS group leader, and were questioning the woman and conducting DNA tests on the child, senior Lebanese officials said Tuesday.

The woman, who was identified as an Iraqi, and the child were taken into custody about 10 days ago while carrying fake ID cards, the officials said.

Very little is known about ISIS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's personal life, including how many wives and children he has.

Adding to the confusion, the Lebanese army did not release an official statement regarding the pair, AP reports.

A Lebanese military official identified the woman as Saja al-Dulaimi who was held by Syrian authorities and freed in a prisoner exchange with the Nusra Front, Syria's al-Qaida-linked branch, earlier this year.

The official said the woman "confessed during interrogation'' that she was al-Baghdadi's wife.

A judicial official said the interrogation of the woman was being supervised by Lebanon's military prosecutor, Saqr Saqr, and that a DNA test was underway to confirm that the child is her son.

Experts said it would be difficult to confirm whether the woman is indeed al-Baghdadi's wife.

It was unclear what would have brought the woman and child to Lebanon, where IS controls no territory and enjoys only small _ although growing _ support in some predominantly Sunni Muslim areas.

The detentions added to the mystery that continues to surround al-Baghdadi, who has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. He has only made one known public appearance _ a sermon he delivered in July at a mosque in Mosul just days after IS declared him the head of an ISIS, or caliphate, in the territory the group controls in Syria and Iraq.

Last month, Iraqi officials claimed he was wounded in an airstrike, but Al-Baghdadi released a new audiotape days after he was purportedly hit.

The Lebanese daily As-Safir first reported the detention of the ISIS leader's alleged relatives, saying the woman and boy were taken into custody near a border crossing point with Syria. It said the arrest came in "coordination with foreign intelligence agencies."

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