Three smugglers arrested in Kirkuk carrying fake IDs, IS relatives

Kirkuk security forces on Sunday arrested a group of men responsible for smuggling family members of Islamic State (IS) militants from the city of Hawija to Kirkuk.

KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kirkuk security forces on Sunday arrested a group of men responsible for smuggling family members of Islamic State (IS) militants from the city of Hawija to Kirkuk.

In a statement released on Sunday, Kirkuk security announced they arrested three people in Kirkuk’s southern town of Daquq after intelligence revealed they were smuggling family members of jihadists from Hawija to Kirkuk for a substantial fee.

It also mentions that two of the smugglers were ethnic Arabs, while the other one was Turkmen. All of them originated from the town of Khurmatu in the south of Kirkuk Province.

The security forces said the smugglers were creating fake IDs, concealing the identity of IS relatives while crossing Kirkuk security checkpoints.

Kirkuk security forces revealed that the group was caught while attempting to smuggle a female IS member who was hiding under the seats of a vehicle.

“The woman was an IS policewoman for three years in Hawija, and one of her sons remains among the jihadist's ranks,” the statement read.

The three men were also responsible for transporting jihadists to Kirkuk for the IS militants to carry out terrorist activities, authorities said.

Kirkuk is home to over a half a million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Peshmerga and security forces in Kirkuk have previously stated that many jihadists attempt to hide among IDPs to sneak into the area.

Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim has repeatedly called for the liberation of Hawija, declaring the presence of IS, nearby and within the city's limits, puts the safety of the people of Kirkuk at risk.

 

Editing by G.H. Renaud