ISIS Head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Wife, Child Detained in Lebanon, Near Syria Border

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By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Photo: Reuters/Social Media Website via Reuters TV)
A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the center of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. There had previously been reports on social media that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would make his first public appearance since his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant changed its name to the Islamic State and declared him caliph. The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday’s date, was credible. It was also not possible to immediately confirm the authenticity of the recording or the date when it was made.

The wife and child of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have reportedly been detained by Lebanese security forces near its border with Syria.

BBC News reported on Tuesday that Baghdadi’s family entered Lebanon 10 days ago, and were recently picked up by military intelligence. The ISIS leader’s wife, a Syrian citizen who wasn’t named, is being questioned by the defense ministry, according to al-Safir newspaper.

There have been conflicting reports surrounding the gender of the child – while BBC has said it is Baghdadi’s son, a senior Lebanese security official said it is Baghdadi’s daughter.

Reuters added that the arrest is a ‘blow’ to Baghdadi, and could be used as a bargaining tool against the terror group.

Baghdadi is believed to have three wives, two Iraqi citizens beside the Syrian one.

“The Lebanese authorities now face the delicate question of what to do with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s wife and offspring,” said BBC analyst Jim Muir from Beirut.

“In theory, they could prove a useful bargaining chip in the highly-charged imbroglio surrounding the fate of more than 20 Lebanese Army soldiers held hostage since August by IS and the rival al-Qaeda-linked militant group, al-Nusra Front,” he added.

“The militants are demanding the release of Islamist prisoners in Lebanese jails to spare the soldiers’ lives – three have already been murdered.”

ISIS, or the Islamic State as the group is also known, has been waging a war on the governments of Iraq and Syria since the summer, and has captured a number of cities across the region. Led by Baghdadi, the jihadists have sought to establish an Islamic caliphate and impose Sharia law on the people. They have also heavily targeted religious minorities, including Christians.

A U.S.-led coalition has hit back against ISIS and has launched airstrikes on several terror targets throughout Iraq and Syria.

Earlier in November, information came out suggesting that Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike on a convoy of militants in Iraq, but the reports proved to be false.

Baghdadi posted a new audio message following the airstrikes, vowing that Islamic militants will “not stop fighting” against the U.S. and its allies.

“Even if only one soldier of them remained, they will never abandon fighting, because they defy humiliation and injustice,” the ISIS leader said in the 17-minute audio recording. “They will never abandon fighting, because they did not taste honor and dignity except by fighting. They will never abandon fighting. Indeed, they are triumphant. They will be triumphant even if only one man of them is left. They are triumphant and upon certainty of Allah’s support for them.”