Sami Jasim al-Jaburi: Iraq captures Islamic State’s financial chief who has $5 million US bounty on his head

Iraq claims to have captured the jihadist group Islamic State’s financial chief in an operation outside its borders.

Sami Jasim al-Jaburi was arrested in a “complex external operation” by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted.

He added that Mr Jasim, also known as Hajji Hamid, was a deputy leader of IS under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The US had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The FBI’s Rewards for Justice website alleged that he was “instrumental in managing finances for terrorist operations” and had supervised the group’s “revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities, and minerals” after it seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Iraq’s Security Media Cell said the detainee was close to the new leader of IS, Amir Mohammed Said Abdul Rahman al-Mawla, who replaced Baghdadi after he killed himself during a US special forces raid on his hideout in Syria in 2019.

Although Mr Kadhimi did not reveal where Mr Jasim had been captured, AFP reported quoting Iraqi sources that it had happened in Turkey.

Earlier this year, the Iraqi government announced it had killed another alleged deputy IS leader, Jabir Salman Saleh al-Isawi, as well as the leader of IS in southern Iraq, Jabbar Ali Fayadh.

IS once controlled 88,000 sq km of territory stretching from eastern Iraq to western Syria and imposed its brutal rule on almost eight million people.

Despite the group’s defeat on the battlefield in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria the following year, it is estimated that thousands of militants remain active in both countries.