SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Region Security Agency announced on Tuesday (April 20) arrest of 22 “terrorists” suspected of having links to the Islamic State (ISIS) in Sulaimani governorate.
One of the detainees is Islamic State’s Fallujah “wali,” or governor Abu Ali al-Jumaili, who sneaked into the Kurdistan Region using a fake ID, the Kurdistan Region Security Agency said in a statement.
Before pledging allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, Jumaili has had links to al-Qaeda and he had become ISIS’s deputy governor of northern Iraq, it said, accusing him of being mastermind in several terrorist attacks.
“The Kurdistan Region Security Agency reveals a plan by Daesh [ISIS] terrorists who were trying to regroup and carry out terrorist acts,” it added.
“In 22 separate raids and operations in Sulaimani, Garmyan, Chamchamal, Saidsadiq, and Pishdar 22 terrorists were arrested who will be brought to justice.”
According to the security agency, the “terrorists” have been recruited by ISIS on social media and had plans to target a number of places and kidnap civilians as well as security officials, particularly those who had roles in counter-terrorism tasks.
“The terrorists have received Daesh’s extremist agenda through social media and used the same net to expand their team and groups creating several pages and accounts for propaganda and they studied radical and atonement lessons.”
Despite its territorial fall in December 2017, there has been an uptick in attacks and bomb blast by ISIS militant in Iraq, more notably in the borderlands in Anbar and Nineveh and the disputed areas in Kirkuk, Saladin and Diyala governorates claimed by Erbil and Baghdad.
ISIS acts are almost rare in the Kurdistan Region’s governorates.
On February 4, the Kurdistan Region Asayish Agency reported that the security forces arrested ten ISIS members responsible for a booby-trapped flag blast in eastern Sulaimani’s Said Sadiq district in January.