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Details Emerge About Past Life of ISIS Leader

AP File

John Burger - published on 02/25/15 - updated on 06/07/17

Al-Baghdadi was once a secretary, publication finds from declassified records

He’s remained elusive and mysterious since his "Islamic State" group burst onto the world stage last summer, but now a few details about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are trickling out.

One of those details seems incongruous to the image that’s been built up of a bloodthirsty ruthless jihadist: he was once a secretary.

But newly declassified military documents obtained by Business Insider through a Freedom of Information Act request list Baghdadi’s civilian occupation as just that: “administrative work (secretary).”

The records come from the time Baghdadi spent in US Army custody in Iraq. US military intelligence picked up Baghdadi on Feb. 4, 2004, while visiting a friend in Fallujah named Nessayif Numan Nessayif.

"Baghdadi was not the target — it was Nessayif," according to ISIS expert Dr. Hisham al-Hashimi, who is quoted in the book "ISIS: Inside The Army of Terror," Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan.

Baghdadi’s detainee I.D. card lists him as a "civilian detainee," which means he was not a member of a foreign armed force or militia, but was still held for security reasons.

Other facts revealed in the newly released files: Baghdadi’s birth name, Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry; as of 2014, he was listed as being 43, and he was born in Fallujah.

These records also provide some details about Baghdadi’s family. His file identifies him as married and his next of kin was an uncle. The names of his family members were redacted from the records.

According to the records, Baghdadi was held at multiple prison facilities, including Camp Bucca and Camp Adder. Considered a low-level threat, he was released Dec. 8, 2004.

IraqIslamist Militants
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