ABU Bakr al-Baghdadi was tracked down after a spy was able to steal his underpants for DNA tests to be taken from them.
The operation to infiltrate the terror chief’s inner circle was run by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the source was also able to give room-by-room details of his hideout.
Video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, shows al-Baghdadi at a secret location with a weapon by his side[/caption]
Rubble above the site of the tunnel where Baghdadi is believed to have blown himself up, in northwestern Syria[/caption]
SDF commander General Mazloum Abdi claimed the spy was able to describe the ISIS leader’s compound on the Turkish border, including the number of guards, floor plan and tunnels.
Al-Baghdadi blew himself up along with three of his children after being cornered in a tunnel trying to flee US special forces, who stormed his hideout in Idlib, Syria on Saturday night.
He had been the subject of an international manhunt for years and had a £19.4m ($25m) bounty on his head.
General Mazloum told NBC news the mole was one of al-Baghdadi’s security advisers and his work was relayed to the CIA.
The US spies wanted confirmation and so to prove their source was real and had access to the ISIS leader’s safe house, his underwear and later a sample of his blood were stolen.
The underwear was stolen about three months ago and the blood sample roughly a month ago.
Once these were confirmed as belonging to Baghdadi, the operation to hunt him down began in earnest.
General Mazloum said the source was taken to see Baghdadi and told to lie flat when he was being driven.
But he was still able to pick out landmarks during the journey and to see the general area he was being transported through, which helped to pinpoint the ISIS leader’s location.
The rubble of what was Baghdadi’s house is inspected after his death[/caption]
After Baghdadi’s death, Donald Trump acknowledged the contribution of the Kurds in the operation and Mazloum tweeted it was the result of five months of joint work with the US.
The Kurds have been keen to highlight their role, particularly in the wake of Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of northeastern Syria.
The move has been widely seen as giving the green light to Turkey to launch a cross border military operation to attack the Kurdish YPG.
Ankara regards the YPG, which forms the main part of the SDF, as a terrorist organisation.
In the wake of the al-Baghdadi’s death, more details are beginning to emerge about the intelligence operation that led to the world’s most wanted terrorist finally being tracked down.
One of the ISIS leader’s closest confidants, Mohammed Ali Sajet, has now spoken about how he provided key information to US forces.
Sajet is related to Baghdadi through marriage and has been an ISIS member since 2015 but was arrested by Iraqi officials two months ago near Baghdad.
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In an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV he said that the ISIS leader did not expect the raid to happen as he took “high security measures”.
“He was in an eight-meter long underground tunnel with a width of five to six meters. It had a library, religious books, and the Quran … the hiding situation was good,” Sajet added.
Sajet also said that ISIS top leaders, including himself, would bury dollars, gold, and silver in the desert, adding that $25 million was lost in Iraq’s al-Anbar desert and were later found by shepherds.