Multiple sources are now reporting that a wife and child of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-styled “caliph” of the terrorist group ISIL, are being detained by Lebanese security forces. They were said to have been apprehended at the Lebanese-Syrian border 10 days ago.
A Lebanese newspaper, Al-Safir, says Baghdadi’s wife is being interrogated by the Lebanese defense ministry. The paper describes her as “a valuable catch.”
There has not yet been an official statement from the government in Beirut. The names of the woman and the child, and their ages, have not been revealed. Reuters is citing Lebanese security sources saying that the woman was travelling with one of her daughters, and not a son as originally reported by other outlets. The sources also said that DNA tests were being conducted to verify whether the girl was Baghdadi’s daughter, which implies that Lebanon has ISIL leader’s DNA in the first place.
Little is known of the personal life of the leader of ISIL—the group that is also known as ISIS and refers to itself as the Islamic State. He could have up to four wives, Reuters reports.
Earlier this summer, reports said Baghdadi’s wife Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, two sons, and a younger brother were handed over to ISIL by the Syrian government in a prisoner-exchange deal. (It is not known if the woman detained in Lebanon is the same person traded in the Syrian prisoner exchange.) She was identified as the daughter of a slain terrorist leader, and the widow of another—Baghdadi was said to have married her after her first husband was killed in 2010 by the Iraqi military.