The alleged finance chief of the Islamic State (ISIS), Sami Jasim al-Jaburi, has been captured by Iraq in Turkey, said a senior Iraqi military source who talked to the Agence France Presse.
The Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa al-Kadhemi, had recently announced on Twitter that Jaburi was arrested by the intelligence service “outside the borders” of Iraq, in a “complex external operation,” without naming the location.
“While our ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] heroes focused on securing the elections, their INIS [Iraqi National Intelligence Service] colleagues were conducting a complex external operation to capture Sami Jasim, who was in charge of Daesh finance, and a deputy of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi,” wrote Mustafa al-Kadhemi.
As there was no immediate reaction from Turkey, the claim that Sami Jasim al-Jaburi had been captured in Turkish soil by the Iraqi intelligence has been overlooked by the Turkish state news agency and most of the Turkish media.
Sami Jasim al-Jaburi was sought by the United States which had offered a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.
The US Rewards for Justice programme said Jaburi had “reportedly served as the equivalent of… finance minister, supervising the group’s revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities and minerals”.
The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a raid by US special forces in northwestern Syria, close to the border with Turkey, in October 2019.
There have been consistent claims from many sources over alleged ties between Turkey and ISIS.
Brett McGurk the US Special Envoy in charge of the coordination of the international coalition for the fight against ISIS in Syria told Christiane Amanpour on an interview for CNN that “Most of the material coming to fuel the ISIS war machine was frankly coming across the border from Turkey into Syria… And quite frankly it was quite frustrating because Turkey did not take much action.”
As ISIS took over one third of Iraq in an offensive in 2014 and expanded its self-declared “caliphate” into Syria, thousands of new fighters reportedly joined the ranks of ISIS as they freely passed through the borders of southern Turkey.
While the Washington Post had reported in August 2014 that a border town of Turkey was treated by the ISIS members as their ‘own personal shopping mall’, a report on the Daily Mail said that a stretch of Turkey’s southern border was known as ‘gateway to jihad’ with border guards turning blind eye for as little as 10 US dollars.
In October 2014, a senior Egyptian security official told WND that Turkey provided direct intelligence and logistical support to ISIS.