The wife of the elusive Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, has been reportedly detained at the Lebanese-Syrian border, Lebanese security officials said on Tuesday.
Baghdadi’s wife was held along with one of his sons. She is Syrian and is the ISIS leader’s second wife, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
“Military intelligence detained one of his wives, who was travelling with their son, near (Lebanese border town) Arsal 10 days ago ,” the source told Agence France-Presse.
Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with “foreign intelligence apparatus”.
A senior Lebanese security official said Baghdadi’s wife had been traveling with one of their daughters, contradicting earlier reports that it was his son. DNA tests were conducted to verify it was Baghdadi’s child, the official said.
They were detained in northern Lebanon. Investigators were questioning her at the headquarters of the Lebanese defense ministry, the security officials said.
There was no immediate reaction from ISIS websites to the arrest.
Earlier this year, photos of one of Baghdadi’s wives surfaced online, offering a glimpse into the private life of the self-proclaimed “caliph.”
It is not clear however whether Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, the woman identified in the images, is the currently detained wife of Baghdadi. It is unclear how many wives the ISIS leader has.
Last month, Baghdadi was “critically wounded” when a U.S.-led air strike targeted the western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim, tribal sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.
U.S. Central Command confirmed in a statement that U.S.-led air strikes targeted ISIS leaders near their northern Iraqi hub of Mosul
Baghdadi’s aide Auf Abdulrahman Elefery, who went by the code name Abu Suja, was reportedly killed in the strike.
The ISIS chief was put on the U.S. “terrorism” watchlist in October 2011, and there is a $10 million bounty for his capture.
ISIS has seized wide areas of Iraq and Syria, Lebanon’s neighbor to the east.
The Lebanese security forces have waged a crackdown on ISIS sympathizers in Lebanon and the intelligence services have been extra vigilant on the borders with Syria.
They have arrested over the past few months a number of Islamic militants suspected of staging attacks to expand ISIS influence in the country neighboring Syria.