Iraq has captured Sami Jasim, a high-ranking member of the Islamic State (IS) group, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Monday.
Jasim, who allegedly served as a deputy for former IS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was arrested by intelligence services “outside the borders” of Iraq, Kadhemi said on Twitter.
“While our [Iraqi security forces] heroes focused on securing elections, their [Iraqi national intelligence services] Colleagues were conducting a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim, “the prime minister added, without providing further details on the operation.
It is believed that Jasim oversaw the finances of the IS group. He previously worked with former Iraqi al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, until the latter was assassinated by US forces in 2006.
Baghdadi was also killed in an attack by US special forces in northwestern Syria in 2019.
The US State Department had at the time offered a reward for information leading to the location of the leaders of the ISIS group it identified, including Jasim.
Under the US Rewards for Justice program, Jasim “allegedly served as the equivalent of … finance minister, overseeing the group’s revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiques and minerals “.
In September 2015, the US Department of the Treasury labeled him a specially designated global terrorist.