Thursday, May 21, 2020

Did Iraq’s PM Make Up A Story of Capturing An Islamic State Leader?

(Al Sumaria)
In the midst of the latest campaign by the Islamic State newly appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi might have manufactured a false victory against the insurgents. On May 20, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, which Kazemi still heads, announced that it captured a high level IS operative Abd Nasser Qirdash. It claimed that Qirdash was considered to be one of the successors to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after he was killed by the Americans. Qirdash was a member of IS’s Delegative Committee which is charge of the group’s departments such as security, religious affairs, funding, media, etc. The problem with the story was that Qirdash was not captured by the Iraqis. In fact, he surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces last year who recently turn him over to Baghdad.  

The story hit the international press, which might have been purpose all along. With the Islamic State increasing violence, PM Kazemi might have wanted to claim a victory against it even if it was made up. It would boost his standing as the new leader, and he could claim that he was taking the fight to the militants’ leadership.


Arab News, “Iraq claims capture of senior Daesh leader,” 5/20/20

Al-Hashimi, Husham, “ISIS 2020: New Structures and Leaders in Iraq Revealed,” Center for Global Policy, 5/19/20

Hassan, Hassan, “According to a cleric from Iraq, the former ISIS official just handed over to the Iraqi intelligence, Abdelnaser Qardash:,” Twitter, 5/20/20
- “The juicy details will be published in a few days, but he became in charge of Mosul under Zarqawi’s leadership after the arrest of Mohammed Khalaf Shekara, aka Abu Talha al-Ansari in 2005. He was soon captured by the Americans & was jailed till 2020..,” Twiter, 5/20/20
- “Some details I have obtained about the high-ranking ISIS leader Abdulnasser Qardash, who has just been handed over to the Iraqis after he “walked over” to the SDF (they also didn’t arrest him) in early 2019 in Baghouz, eastern Syria,” Twitter, 5/20/20
- “To clarify – he was arrested last year. He’s not the leader of Isis, he was part of the delegated committee. He was just handed over to the Iraqis by the Syrians and Americans. Old News,” Twitter, 5/20/20

Kazimi, Nibas, “Abdul Nassir Qirdash? He was arrested over a year ago by the SDF in Syria, in Baghoz, and he was handed over to Iraq two weeks ago. He was not “arrested.”” Twitter, 5/20/20

Knights, Michael, “Kadhimi as Commander-in-Chief: First Steps in Iraqi Security Sector Reform,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 5/19/20

Lee, ArLuther, “Suspected Islamic State terrorist leader arrested in Iraq, reports say,” Atlanta Journal Constitution, 5/20/20

Naar, Ismaeel, “Iraq arrests ISIS leader Abdulnasser al-Qirdash said to be al-Baghdadi’s successor,” Al Arabiya, 5/20/20

1 comment:

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