Iraq’s Ministry of Interior said that a woman detained earlier this week by Lebanese authorities was not the wife of the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The ministry confirmed the woman to be Saja Abdul Hamid Al-Dulaimi, sister of Omar Abdul Hamid Al-Dulaimi, who was detained by authorities and sentenced to death for his participation in detonating explosives.
“The wives of the terrorist Al-Baghdadi are Asmaa Fawzi Mohamed Al-Dulaimi and Esraa Rajab Mahel Al-Qaisi, and there is no wife with the name of Saja al-Dulaimi,” stated Iraq’s Ministry of Interior spokesman Saad Maan.
Maan said that Saja Dulaimi fled to Syria where she was detained by authorities.
She was part of a group of female detainees freed in exchange for the release of a group of nuns captured by Islamist insurgents in the Syrian town of Maaloula, he added.
However, Lebanese security officials said that their investigations still indicated that the detained woman was Baghdadi’s wife.
The official said the authorities were still awaiting the results of a DNA test to verify whether the girl traveling with Dulaimi Al-Baghdadi was her daughter.
On Tuesday, a Lebanese official told As-Safir newspaper that the Lebanese army had detained a wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed into the country from Syria.
Lebanese analysts say the arrest may be used as a bargaining chip against Al-Baghdadi’s group, which captured 27 Lebanese army soldiers last August.
The Islamic State has beheaded two of the captured soldiers and said it would kill seven more if the government did not abolish death sentences that were given to 5 militants belonging to the group in Lebanon.
Last August, the Islamic State and other Islamist militants from Syria took over the town of Arsal, on the Lebanese-Syrian borders, the first seizure of this magnitude to take place on Lebanese soil, which prompted fear of the conflict spreading to the country.
Since then, the Lebanese Army has retaken Arsal and is fiercely engaged in defending the border with Syria against the Islamic State.