ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A court in Baghdad has convicted the sister of the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and handed her a death sentence on charges of terrorism, a judiciary spokesperson said on Thursday.
In an official statement, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, the spokesperson of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, said former al-Qaeda leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi’s sister was charged for “offering logistic support and help to [the militants] in carrying out criminal acts.”
The woman, who was identified as Najla Dawood Mohammed, was also accused of “distributing money” among the extremists in Mosul.
In his statement, Bayrkdar said the woman “admitted to belonging to the terrorist organization,” but did not provide any further details or what years she cooperated with al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was killed in April 2010 in a joint US-Iraqi operation targeting the group.
Bayrkdar’s initial report said the woman was the sister of the elusive leader of the Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but this was later corrected.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is heavily believed to be the “parent group” which allowed for the emergence of IS in mid-2014 when the group began to control large swaths of territory in the north and west of the country.
The group’s military defeat was announced last December by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi after three years of bloody war and devastating destruction.
Since then, Iraq’s criminal court has handed several sentences to women affiliated with the extremist group, with some given long prison sentences and others sentenced to death by hanging.