Baghdadi tops new list of Iraq’s most wanted

Special Baghdadi tops new list of Iraq’s most wanted
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh tops the list. (AP)
Updated 06 February 2018

Baghdadi tops new list of Iraq’s most wanted

Baghdadi tops new list of Iraq’s most wanted

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities have revealed a new list of the "most wanted" figures involved in terrorism in the country.

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh and the world’s most wanted man, unsurprisingly tops the list, according to a copy seen by Arab News.

The list, the third one produced by the Iraqi security authorities in recent days, includes 14 names.

Among them are five suspects from other Arab countries: A Qatari, two from Saudi Arabia, a Jordanian and one Yemeni.

Abdulrahamn Al-Qaduli, the second in command of Daesh, Nashwan Abd Al-Razzaq Abd Al-Baqi, one of the top leaders of Al-Qaeda, and Muthana Harith Al-Dhari, the secretary-general of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, are all on the list.

The document does not provide much information about each suspect other than the family name, the first name, the date and place of birth and the nationality.

All of the men already appear on a wanted list by Interpol, the international police organization. Some have been wanted for more than a decade for being associated with militant groups operating in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The groups include Al-Qaeda, its offshoot Daesh and Ansar Al-Islam.

Most of those on the Iraqi wanted list were “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities,” linked to the insurgent groups operating in Iraq in the last few years, according to Interpol.

Iraq has been the scene of terrorist groups and politically motivated insurgencies since 2003, when the US-led international military coalition invaded the country and toppled Saddam Hussein.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, millions displaced and thousands are still missing due to the ethnic, sectarian and political conflict that has engulfed the country.

Capitalizing on the chaos in the country, Daesh seized almost a third of Iraqi territory in the summer of 2014.

The latest list from Iraq was further confirmation that Baghdadi had not been killed in an airstrike launched by the coalition against Daesh leaders in July.

Iraqi security officials told Arab News that the intelligence information they have received indicate that Baghdadi is still alive and moves around in a small area of territory still held by the extremist group on the Syrian side of the border.

“We believe that Baghdadi is still a live, linked to Daesh and he is in the Syrian territories near the Syrian-Iraqi border,” a senior Iraqi intelligent official told Arab News. “Everyone knows that he was injured many times as a results of the air strikes launched by the US.”

The official was referring to airstrikes on the border towns of Qaem and Rawaa and on convoys moving in the western desert of Iraq.

“Our information suggest that he is weak, isolated and not in full control of the organization as his movements are very restricted within the areas that still under the control of his followers in Syria,” the official said. “He is working now to save himself much more than working to preserve the organization.”

According to the US military, Daesh has lost control of almost all of 98 percent of the territory that it once held in Iraq and Syria and has no ability to launch wide-scale attacks.

There has been endless speculation and conspiracy theories about Baghdadi’s whereabouts.