USA finance

Iraq arrests ISIS finance chief wanted by US ‘in Turkey’

Protesters waving ISIS flags.

Protesters waving ISIS flags.

  • SamiJasim al-Jaburi, who according to the US served as the equivalent of “financeminister” for ISIS, was arrested in Turkey.
  • Jaburiis also the suspected former deputy to late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  • Detailsaround Jaburi’s arrest aren’t clear, but the US had offered a reward of up to$5 million for his capture.

Baghdad– Iraq has captured the alleged finance chief of the Islamic State (ISIS)group, Sami Jasim al-Jaburi, who was sought by the United States, in anoperation abroad, Iraqi authorities said on Monday.

Jaburi,also the suspected former deputy to the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,was arrested “in Turkey”, a senior Iraqi military source told AFPwithout elaborating.

PrimeMinister Mustafa al-Kadhemi had earlier announced on Twitter that Jaburi wasarrested by the intelligence services “outside the borders” of Iraq,in a “complex external operation”, without naming the location.

Itwas not immediately clear if Turkish authorities were involved and there was noimmediate reaction from Ankara.

TheUS had offered a reward of up to $5 million for the capture of Jaburi.

TheUS Rewards for Justice programme said Jaburi had “reportedly served as theequivalent of… finance minister (for ISIS), supervising the group’srevenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities andminerals”.

Sleeper cells

InSeptember 2015, the US Treasury Department labelled Jaburi as a SpeciallyDesignated Global Terrorist.

ISIStook over one-third of Iraq in a lightning offensive in 2014, expanding theirself-declared “caliphate”, stretching across the Syrian border.

Iraq’sgovernment declared victory against the jihadists in late 2017, after agrinding military campaign backed by a US-led military coalition.

Baghdadiwas killed in a raid by US special forces in north-western Syria in October2019.

ISISsleeper cells still periodically launch attacks in Iraq, against both thesecurity forces and civilians.

Accordingto an official from the US-led coalition who spoke on condition of anonymity,ISIS is now “stretched” financially and its operations in Iraq are”very localised”.

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