Baghdad: The Iraq forces have helped capture Islamic State's deputy leader and financial controller in a cross border operation and brought him to Baghdad, Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi claimed, The Guardian reports.
The announcement of the capture of Sami Jasim al-Juburi comes days before parliamentary elections in Iraq, and Kadhimi is likely to be a contender, the report says. However, Iraqi officials did not reveal where Juburi was caught or who else was involved in the operation.
The US had offered a five million dollars bounty on Juburi's head. The US state department had said that Juburi served as the IS' finance minister while serving as IS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014. He supervised the group's revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities and minerals. Iraq government also said on Monday that the captured held leadership, security and financial positions within IS.
Meanwhile, Mazlom Abdi, the Kurdish general who led the fight in northeast Syria against the group, said that they are watching the IS closely. He added that the organisation is still dangerous but not like before.
Juburi was a close companion of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader who killed himself with his son when both cornered in Syria two years ago. Juburi was also known to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaida who led the jihadist insurgency from 2004 until he died in 2006 in Iraq.
Juburi is believed to have lived in Syria since 2014 and was able to travel to Anbar province in Iraq, where IS retains a presence. IS can no longer hold territory but can still launch attacks in Kirkuk province in Iraq, where clashes with security forces have been increasing in recent months.