A top Islamic State leader, who oversaw group’s finances, is arrested, Iraq says

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi
The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi, pictured, says it has arrested a top Islamic State operative.
(Associated Press)

Iraq said Monday that it has detained a top leader of Islamic State and a longtime Al Qaeda operative in a cross-border operation.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi tweeted the news, identifying the man as Sami Jasim, who oversees Islamic State’s financial operations and who served as the group’s deputy leader under the late Abu Bakr Baghdadi.

Kadhimi described it as “one of the most difficult” cross-border intelligence operations ever conducted by Iraqi forces.


Jasim has a $5-million bounty on his head from the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, which describes him as having been “instrumental in managing finances for IS terrorist operations.”

Iraqis have voted in parliamentary elections held months ahead of schedule as a concession to a youth-led uprising against corruption and mismanagement.

Oct. 10, 2021

“While serving as IS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, Jasim reportedly served as the equivalent of IS’s finance minister, supervising the group’s revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities, and minerals,” the website says.

Iraqi intelligence officials told the Associated Press that Jasim was detained in an identified foreign country and transported to Iraq few days ago. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak of the operation on the record.

Jasim worked with Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in 2006. Jasim assumed various security positions in Iraq, and moved to Syria in 2015, after Islamic State, an Al Qaeda offshoot, declared its caliphate in 2014.

Baghdadi was killed in a U.S.-led raid in northwestern Syria in 2019.