Lebanese army detains wife and son of ISIL leader, officials claim

Lebanese army detains wife and son of ISIL leader, officials claim

BEIRUT - Reuters
Lebanese army detains wife and son of ISIL leader, officials claim

A file image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL's leader , Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Lebanese army detained the wife and one of the sons of the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as they crossed from Syria in recent days, Lebanese security officials said on Dec. 2.

The officials declined to give the name or nationality of the woman whom they described as one of his wives. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with "foreign intelligence apparatus."

It said she had been travelling with a fake passport accompanied by one of her sons. Islamic State has seized wide areas of Iraq and Syria, Lebanon's neighbour to the east, declaring a "caliphate" over the territory it controls.

Investigators were questioning her at the headquarters of the Lebanese defence ministry, As-Safir reported.

The Lebanese security forces have waged a crackdown on ISIL sympathisers in Lebanon and the intelligence services have been extra vigilant on the border crossings.

They have arrested over the past few months a number of Islamic militants suspected of staging attacks to expand ISIL influence in the country neighbouring Syria.

A U.S.-led alliance is seeking to roll back Islamic State's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to "degrade and ultimately destroy" Baghdadi's group, which is seeking to reshape the Middle East according to its radical vision of Islam.

Baghdadi, an Iraqi, called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name last month.

He said his self-declared caliphate was expanding in Saudi Arabia and four other Arab countries and called for "volcanoes of jihad" the world over in the speech released on Nov. 13.