ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Defense Ministry on Monday announced the arrest of a prominent recruiter for the so-called Islamic State in Anbar province. He was alleged to be a “close” associate of the group’s figurehead Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The intelligence units of the defense ministry captured “one of the most prominent terrorists in Hit, Anbar, who is the military Emir of [so-called] Hit province before [its] liberation,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that the detainee “is one of the terrorists that are close to the criminal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
The suspect forcibly displaced many families, coerced members of the security services to quit their positions, and recruited young individuals for the organization, the statement said.
The ministry did not disclose the name of the detainee but noted that he is one of the “most wanted” terrorist suspects in the country.
However, Iraqi security expert Hisham al-Hashimi said the detainee was named Shaaban Nasser al-Hiti. He added that the operation would help “decipher the recruitment and financing” aspects of the terrorist organization’s modus operandi in Anbar.
In a recent report to the United Nations Security Council, a panel of experts from the UN asserted that senior members of the terrorist organization are regrouping and laying the foundations for an “eventual resurgence” in Iraq and Syria.
Moreover, the report stated that the group is much further ahead in Iraq while also claiming Baghdadi, and much of the Islamic State’s leadership are, supposedly, at the time the report was written, based in Iraq.
Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report that the Islamic State has about USD 300 million and noted that the apparent decline in the group’s rate of activity “may be temporary,” the Associated Press reported then.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany