Lebanon holding ISIL leader's daughter and ex-wife

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - DECEMBER 4, 2014

Lebanon’s Interior Minister, Nohad Machnouk, on Thursday said that DNA tests had confirmed that Lebanon was holding the young daughter of alleged Islamic State (ISIL) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Machnouk told Lebanon's MTV television that the child's mother, who is also in custody, was now believed to be one of Baghdadi's ex-wives. They were detained at a border crossing with Syria by the Lebanese army two weeks ago.

He said that the woman, identified as Saja al-Dulaimi, had been travelling with two sons and a daughter when they were detained.

"Dulaimi is not Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife currently. She has been married three times: first to a man from the former Iraqi regime, with whom she had two sons," he said.

"Six years ago she married Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for three months, and she had a daughter with him. Now, she is married to a Palestinian and she is pregnant with his child."

The minister added: "We conducted DNA tests on her and the daughter, which showed she was the mother of the girl, and that the girl is [Baghdadi's] daughter, based on DNA from Baghdadi from Iraq."

However, the Iraqi government later claimed that the woman was not married to Baghdadi. It said that al-Dulaimi was the daughter of an active member of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front.

Arrested and released in Syria

Al-Dulaimi is thought to have been arrested by the Syrian government before being freed in March as part of a prisoner exchange with al-Nusra.

Machnouk said Dulaimi's children were staying at a care centre while she was being interrogated at the Lebanese defence ministry's headquarters.

ISIL has not commented on their detention, but al-Nusra has condemned it.

A Lebanese official reportedly said that having the ex-wife and daughter was a "powerful card to apply pressure" in negotiations with ISIL and al-Nusra, who are holding more than 20 Lebanese soldiers and police hostage.

The jihadist militants are threatening to kill their hostages unless their fighters are freed from Lebanese jails.

 

Photo caption: Lebanon’s Interior Minister, Nohad Machnouk, on Thursday said that DNA tests had confirmed that Lebanon was holding the young daughter of alleged Islamic State (ISIL) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (in photo). Photo courtesy of: credityoutube.com