One of the wives of slain ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was arrested by Turkish authorities, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday.
“The United States said Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this,” Erdogan said, according to Fox. “But, I am announcing it here for the first time: We captured his wife and didn’t make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria.”
Turkey’s Erdogan appears to downplay the US operation that killed Baghdadi that took place near Turkey’s border, calling it a PR campaign: “The US said that Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel and started a serious PR campaign. We captured his wife but we didn’t make a fuss”
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) November 6, 2019
Al-Baghdadi had five brothers, several sisters and at least three other wives, though it is unclear how many family members are still alive, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) November 6, 2019
Colin Clarke, senior fellow at the Soufan Center research organization, explained how capturing the leader’s sister — and other family members — could be valuable. (RELATED: Here Are The First Photos From The Aftermath Of The Raid That Killed ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi)
“Depending on how much time she spent around Baghdadi, it could be significant. Not only can she help piece together important facts about his life and history, but she could also have an insider’s knowledge of how ISIS was structured or some insight into the group’s decision-making,” Clarke told the Times.
A U.S. military operation to capture al-Baghdadi began in 2018 and ended on Oct. 26 when al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children during a two-hour raid of his Syrian compound, according to Reuters.
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