The U.S. has new information on how ISIS operates and how its leadership avoids being tracked by U.S. intelligence thanks to a May Delta Force commando raid. The discovery? Their wives.
The wives of top ISIS commanders aided their husbands in eluding American intelligence by passing along information to one another that could then be relayed to their spouses — a key piece of knowledge when trying to track down some of these militant leaders.
The terrorist group’s top financial officer and “emir for oil and gas” Abu Sayyaf was killed during the raids and his wife was detained at their home.
“In the recent raid on Abu Sayyaf, we collected substantial information on Daesh financial operations,” John R. Allen, coordinator of the coalition against ISIS, reported to the New York Times. “And we’re gaining a much clearer understanding of Daesh’s organization and business enterprise.”
Umm Sayyaf, the late terrorist leader’s widow, has also been providing U.S. investigators with information about the militant group’s operations.
During the capture of Umm Sayyaf, the U.S. commandos were able to rescue a Yazidi woman who was kept in the Sayyaf home as a sex slave, leading U.S. officials to believe, according to CNN, she may have been actively involved in human trafficking throughout the region — specifically in the kidnapping and torture of several other U.S. citizens.
Umm Sayyaf, and Iraqi citizen, has since been discovered to hold the rank of officer within ISIS and is suspected to have “played an important role” in various ISIS crimes including the torture and murder of American aid worker Kayla Mueller. White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan commented in a statement on the interrogation of Umm Sayyaf about Mueller, who died in February after being held captive.
“We are currently debriefing the detainee to obtain intelligence about [ISIS] operations,” Meehan said. “We are also working to determine any information she may have regarding hostages – including American citizens who were held by [ISIS].”