Informant who led US to IS leader likely to receive up to $25 million – report
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Informant who led US to IS leader likely to receive up to $25 million – report

Source said to be Sunni Arab, cultivated by Kurdish intelligence, who turned against Islamic State after terror group killed a relative

People look at a destroyed van near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, October 27, 2019, after an operation by the US military which killed IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (AP/Ghaith Alsayed)
People look at a destroyed van near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, October 27, 2019, after an operation by the US military which killed IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (AP/Ghaith Alsayed)

An informant who provided crucial details on the movements of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader killed in a US commando raid, is likely to scoop up some or all of a $25 million reward, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The Post said the informant was a well-placed Islamic State operative who facilitated al-Baghdadi’s movements around Syria and helped oversee the construction of his Syrian hideout.

US special operations commandos struck the hideout overnight Saturday, swooping in on helicopters and chasing the IS founder into a tunnel where he detonated a suicide vest, according to the US account of the raid.

The Post said the informant was at the scene as the raid unfolded, and was exfiltrated two days later with his family.

The man, who was not identified, was likely to receive some or all of the $25 million reward the US had put on Baghdadi’s head, it said.

Besides Baghdadi’s movements, the informant knew the room-by-room layout of Baghdadi’s final Syrian hideout, according to the Post.

This image made from video posted on a militant website on April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his group’s Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP)

The newspaper said the source, described by one official as a Sunni Arab who turned against IS after a relative was killed by the group, was cultivated by Kurdish intelligence.

The Kurds eventually turned control over him to the Americans, who spent weeks establishing his credibility before seizing an opportunity that came up in the past month to launch the raid, according to the Post.

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