Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s widow sentenced to death

The New Region

Jul. 10, 2024 • 3 min read
Image of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s widow sentenced to death

Asma Mohammed, widow of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sentenced to death for holding Yazidi women captive and collaborating with ISIS.

The Criminal Court of Al-Karkh on Wednesday sentenced the wife of terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to death for her role in collaborating with ISIS and holding Yazidi women captive in her home.

She "detained Yazidi women in her house, who were later abducted by ISIS gangs in the Sinjar district, west of Nineveh province," according to the Media Center of the Supreme Judicial Council.

The sentence was issued under provisions of Iraq's Anti-Terrorism Law No. 13 of 2005, specifically Articles 4/1, and referenced Article 7/1 of the Yazidi Survivors Law No. 8 of 2021.

In a revealing interview with Al Arabiya in February, Asma Mohammed, the wife of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, provided an in-depth look into the inner workings of the organization, focusing on the treatment of Yazidi women.

Asma married al-Baghdadi in 1999, describing him as initially open-minded before becoming increasingly radical after detention in 2004 in an American prison in Iraq. 

Her narrative highlighted the chaotic and unstable life she and her children led due to constant relocations and the severe security measures imposed by al-Baghdadi, who lived separately from his family for long periods.

Central to her account is the horrific treatment of Yazidi women by ISIS. Asma confirmed that al-Baghdadi had a significant number of Yazidi captives, far exceeding the nine commonly reported. 

She explained that his obsession with women led to what she described as a transformation of the so-called Islamic State into a state focused on exploiting women.

Asma recounted personal encounters with Yazidi captives, including a girl named Reham, who stayed with her and her children for two months.

These captives often faced severe exploitation and dehumanization. She revealed her objections to the treatment of these women, which led to her being taken to a Sharia court by al-Baghdadi for allegedly denying a Quranic text.

Asma's insights underscore the deep-seated ideological and operational fractures within ISIS, particularly concerning their brutal treatment of Yazidi women. 

Her story adds a personal dimension to the broader narrative of ISIS's atrocities, emphasizing the urgent need for education and resistance against such extremist ideologies.

Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil expressed outrage over an Al Arabiya interview with the family of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, accusing it of spreading falsehoods and portraying his wives as honorable women despite evidence of their involvement in crimes.

Dakhil emphasized that the Yazidi genocide and enslavement in 2014 were echoed by the interview, which featured al-Baghdadi's first wife Asma, depicted as innocent while being deeply complicit in ISIS atrocities.

Asma, also known as Umm Khalid, was a key figure in ISIS, attending meetings with al-Baghdadi and playing a crucial role in the selection and rape of Yazidi women. 

Survivors, including the well-known Sipan, recounted brutal treatment and abuse by Asma. 

Dakhil highlighted Asma's significant role in managing foreign terrorists and her proficiency in English.

Dakhil called for legal action against Asma and her daughter in Europe and expressed confidence in the Iraqi judiciary's commitment to justice, emphasizing the severe impact of Asma's actions on Yazidi survivors.

In another rare prison interview with the BBC in June, Asma shared her life story. 

Detained in an Iraqi prison and under investigation for terrorism-related crimes, she claimed she tried to escape her husband's brutality and denied involvement in ISIS's atrocities.

However, this contrasts sharply with allegations from Yazidi women who were abducted and raped by ISIS members. These women accuse her of complicity in their "sexual enslavement."

The United Nations investigation revealed that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, including crimes against humanity such as murder, torture, abduction, and enslavement.

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