Photos surface of ISIS leader Baghdadi’s wife
Knowledge of Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi came to the fore after the release in March of a group of nuns who were kidnapped in Syria's Maaloulah
Photos of the wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have surfaced online, offering a glimpse into the private life of the so-called 'caliph.'
Knowledge of Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi came to the fore shortly after the release in March of a group of nuns who were kidnapped months earlier in the historic Syrian town of Maaloulah.
An online video at the time of the release showed the nuns being transported by masked gunmen waving the banner of the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Activists said the nuns were freed in exchange for the release of women prisoners held by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
According to media reports, Dulaimi’s identity was first revealed by Abu Maan al-Suri, a Nusra Front member who said Baghdadi’s wife had been among the detained female prisoners who were released.
Dulaimi, according to al-Suri, had been detained alongside her two sons and smaller brother.
Details about her early life are sketchy.
Dulaimi’s first husband was an Iraqi named Fallah Ismail Jassem, a leading member of the Rashideen Army who was gunned down by the Iraqi army in the province of Anbar in 2010, according to media reports.
There are also unconfirmed reports that suggest Saja al-Dulaimi may have worked as a hair dresser. Others say she may have worked as a seamstress in Anbar province and Al-Amryiah in Baghdad.
Dulaimi’s family allegedly all adhere to the ideology of ISIS, including her father Ibrahim Dulaimi, a so-called ISIS “emir” in Syria who was reportedly killed in September 2013 during an operation against the Syrian army in Deir Attiyeh.
Her sister, Duaa, was allegedly behind a suicide attack that targeted a Kurdish gathering in Arbil, according to some reports.
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