Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 13 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
home iconNews
line break icon

Details Emerge About Past Life of ISIS Leader

AP File

John Burger - published on 02/25/15

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.

IraqIslamic Militants
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.