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Iraqi court sentences widow of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to death for collaborating with ISIS

The court's decision was based on several articles of Iraq's Anti-Terrorism Law No. 13 of 2005 and the Yazidi Survivors Law No. 8 of 2021.

Washington announced in October 2019 that US troops had killed al-Baghdadi in an operation in northwestern Syria. [Getty]

The Karkh Criminal Court in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has sentenced Asma Mohammed, the first wife of the murdered IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to death for her involvement in “IS terrorist activities” and “holding Yazidi women captive in her home.”

“The convicted terrorist held Yazidi women captive in her home, who were then abducted by ISIS fighters in Sinjar district, west of Nineveh province,” Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement.

The court's decision was based on several articles of Iraq's Anti-Terrorism Law No. 13 of 2005 and Article 7/1 of the Yazidi Survivors Law No. 8 of 2021.

Asma Mohammed in an interview with Saudi Arabian Al-Arabia The broadcaster, which aired on February 15, expressed skepticism about IS's portrayal of the death of US citizen Kayla Mueller.

Mueller, an American aid worker from Arizona, was captured by ISIS in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2013. ISIS announced her death in February 2015, claiming she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike, a claim denied by U.S. authorities.

Mohammed said she met Mueller only once and learned that Mueller was one of al-Baghdadi's “slaves.” Mohammed said she had no information about the circumstances of Mueller's encounter with al-Baghdadi or her death. Mueller was reportedly raped repeatedly by al-Baghdadi.

In October 2019, Washington announced that US troops had killed al-Baghdadi in an operation in northwestern Syria, five years after he declared an Islamic “caliphate” that he and his fighters brutally ruled across much of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

ISIS fighters controlled large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and declared a “caliphate” there before Baghdad fought against the organization with the support of an international coalition and declared victory at the end of 2017.

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 forces in both countries.

Mohammed said Al-Arabiya that al-Baghdadi and other ISIS leaders were “obsessed” with women. She married al-Baghdadi in 1999 and initially described him as an ordinary person with no extremist tendencies. However, his ideology changed after his detention by US forces in 2004.

She added that al-Baghdadi owned over 10 Yazidi women as “slaves” and once married a 13-year-old girl. After ISIS gained control of vast territories, al-Baghdadi became increasingly “arrogant,” seeking international recognition and extending his power to Europe. Mohammed noted that foreign women played a significant role in recruiting fighters for ISIS.

The conviction of Asma Mohammed underscores the ongoing efforts of the Iraqi authorities to hold ISIS members accountable for their role in the terrorist organization's crimes.

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