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IS leader's 'captured wife' may not be who she says she is

While Saja al-Dulaimi might not be the wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Lebanese authorities hope her capture will help free army soldiers being held by jihadists.
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 centre 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 (ISIL) changed its name to the Islamic S

It is not the first time Saja al-Dulaimi has made headlines. The woman who Lebanese authorities and local media insisted was the first lady of the Islamic State (IS) was detained in late November, along with her daughter, at a checkpoint in Lebanon using a fake ID. A Lebanese security source told Al-Monitor that Dulaimi had been under scrutiny since earlier this year. “[Jabhat al-Nusra] insisted back in March on including her in the swap that ended the kidnapping of the Maaloula nuns. The negotiators said on their behalf that she was very important, and they were ready to cancel the whole deal for her sake.” He added, “It was later revealed by Abu Malik al-Talli, one of al-Nusra’s leaders, that she was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s wife.”

It has come to be understood in Lebanon that Dulaimi's arrest is part of an effort by Lebanese authorities to secure a deal to free 27 Lebanese army soldiers captured by Jabhat al-Nusra and IS during battles in the town of Arsal, on the Syrian border.

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