Al-Baghdadi’s wife reveals “inner workings” of terror group: Official
The official said that Baghdadi’s spouse identified herself as Rania Mahmoud but was, in fact, Asma Fawzi Muhammad Al-Qubaysi. She was said to be the “first wife” of the ISIL leader, who was killed in a U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria on Oct. 27.
The woman was arrested on June 2, 2018 in the province of Hatay, near the Syrian border, along with 10 others, including Baghdadi’s daughter, who identified herself as Leila Jabeer. The official said the family links were confirmed using a DNA sample of Baghdadi provided by Iraqi authorities.
“We discovered (the wife’s) real identity pretty quickly. At that point, she volunteered a lot of information about Baghdadi and the inner workings of ISIL,” the official said.
“We were able to confirm a lot of things that we already knew. We also obtained new information that led to a series of arrests elsewhere.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revealed for the first time on Nov. 6 that she had been detained.
“We caught his wife -- I say this today for the first time -- but we didn’t make a big fuss about it,” he said. Erdoğan noted that Turkey had also captured Baghdadi’s sister and brother-in-law.
On Nov. 7, Erdoğan said, “His wife has been in our hands for the past 1.5 years. It’s a sensitive issue for us that his DNA-confirmed child is also with Baghdadi’s wife.”
He stated that al-Baghdadi’s “inner circle” was trying to enter Turkey from Syria. “All of al-Baghdadi’s inner circle is mostly targeting our country, and these people are looking for ways to settle in our country or to come to our country,” the president told reporters before departing for Hungary.
The total number of relatives of the deceased ISIL leader that Turkey has captured is “close to reaching double digits,” but Ankara does not want to announce them all at the moment, Erdoğan added.
“I do not find it right to declare these right now. We will make a statement after everything gets clear,” he said, noting that the investigation is still ongoing.
On Nov. 5, Turkish authorities said they captured al-Baghdadi’s elder sister, Rasmiya Awad, her husband, daughter-in-law and five children in the town of Azaz in Aleppo province in northwestern Syria.
Erdoğan said that the suspects were being kept in detention centers in Turkey while the Turkish Justice Ministry decides how to handle their cases.
Al-Baghdadi blew himself up during an Oct. 26 raid by U.S. Special Forces on his heavily fortified safe house in the Syrian province of Idlib.