Friday, 11 September 2015

More Background on Abu-Sayyaf Raid

Information is dribbling out (in what could be a controlled manner) about the background Abu Sayyaf raid. The latest is an interview by Atica Shubert (in Berlin?) with a Yazidi slave girl held by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and also Abu Sayyaf - but interestingly not the one rescued as a result of the May raid. This one, "Zeinat" talks on camera of her time in the Baghdadi household and escape. The timeline is not too clear, she seems to have been captured by ISIS in the early days of August 2014 (at the foot of Mt Sinjar), and estimates that she was in captivity  for about "two and a half months", which would place her escape in mid to late October 2014. During her time in captivity still in the 'summer' she met Kayla Mueller in a detention cell after she (Zeinat) had tried to escape from Baghdadi's house. It seems quite probable that Zeinat was an informant used in planning the May 2015 raid on Abu-Sayyaf, though she admits that she did not know the identity of Baghdadi himself until after she had escaped.  At the time Zeinat was in Abu Sayyaf's keeping after detention, Mueller (who was killed at the beginning of February 2015) was not in Abu Sayyaf's household.

Atika Shubert and Bharati Naik, with Bryony Jones, 'Convert or die: ISIS chief's former slave says he beat her, raped U.S. hostage', CNN September 11, 2015.

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