Iraq court sentences widow of ISIS’s al-Baghdadi to death

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An Iraqi court has sentenced to death a wife of slain ISIS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on charges of detaining Yazidi women, the judiciary said on Wednesday.

The wife of the polygamous al-Baghdadi was brought back to Iraq after being detained in Turkey, judicial sources told AFP under cover of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

“The Karkh (west Baghdad) criminal court sentenced to death the wife of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the crime of working with the [ISIS] terrorist group and detaining Yazidi women in her house,” the Supreme Judicial Council said on its website, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

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The slain leader’s wife detained the Yazidis who “were later kidnapped” by ISIS fighters in the Sinjar district of northern Iraq, it added.

A judicial source identified her as Asma Mohammed.

Washington announced in October 2019 that US troops had killed al-Baghdadi in an operation in northwestern Syria, five years after he proclaimed a “caliphate” across swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq.

During their lightning advance through northern Iraq in 2014, the extremists of ISIS singled out the non-Muslim Yazidis, systematically killing thousands of men and forcing women into sexual slavery.

Over several years, Iraqi courts have handed down hundreds of death sentences as well as life prison terms under the penal code for membership in “a terrorist group.”

Among those convicted in Iraq were more than 500 foreign men and women found guilty of joining ISIS.

Iraq announced in February it had secured “the repatriation of the family” of al-Baghdadi, with a judicial source telling AFP that al-Baghdadi’s wife, “detained in Turkey,” had been returned along with her children.

The announcement coincided with a broadcast of an interview with “al-Baghdadi’s wife” by pan-Arab TV channel Al Arabiya. It named her as Asma Mohammed.

In November 2019, Turkey said it had arrested a wife of al-Baghdadi, whom Turkish media identified as Asma Fawzi Mohammed al-Qubaysi, in June 2018.

US-backed forces defeated ISIS in Iraq in 2017, and in Syria two years later. But remnants of the group continue to attack civilians and security personnel in both countries.

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