Saddam Hussein’s daughter is among Baghdad’s 60 most wanted extremists affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), al-Qaeda, or the late Iraqi dictator’s Ba’ath Party.
Meanwhile, Iraqi notably excluded the name of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from the list.
Asked by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) to explain Baghdadi’s absence, an anonymous senior Iraqi security official refused to say.
“These are the terrorists most wanted by the judicial authorities and the security services,” argued the official said. “This is the first time we publish these names which, until now, were secret.”
The list’s release comes soon after NBC News learned that “while the number of active fighters on the battlefield is probably in the range of 1,000 to 1,500, the actual number of ISIS-loyalists in Iraq and Syria is closer to 10,000.”
Although Baghdad has declared victory over ISIS, the group remains a threat, Iraqi and U.S. officials have acknowledged, reports the Associated Press (AP).
The United States has already begun to reduce its military presence in Iraq.
AP learned that the U.S. troop withdrawal is expected to reach 60 percent of all American forces in Iraq, leaving behind about 4,000 to train their Iraqi counterparts.
AFP, which has seen the list, reports that in addition to Hussein’s daughter Raghad, the list also “features 28 suspected Daesh militants, 12 from Al-Qaeda and 20 Baathists, giving details of the roles they allegedly play in their organizations, crimes of which they are suspected and in most cases, photographs.”
Except for Maan Bashour, a Lebanese national accused of recruiting fellow citizens to fight in Iraq, everyone on the list is from Iraq.
“It’s an old story that dates back to the American invasion of Iraq when we were partisans of the Iraqi resistance,” Bashour told AFP. “Yes, we carried out activities against the American occupation.”
ISIS jihadists on the list “are accused of murders, bombings, attacks on security forces and the financing and transport of weapons,” reports AFP.