Late Daesh chief Al-Baghdadi radicalized by US torture: Wife

Late Daesh chief Al-Baghdadi radicalized by US torture: Wife

The late Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi may have been subjected to “sexual torture” while in US custody in 2004, his widow has said.

Umm Hudaifa, who is in an Iraqi jail being investigated for her ties to Daesh, told the BBC that her husband had been “religious but not extremist,” and “conservative but open minded.”

Under Al-Baghdadi, Daesh committed genocide against the Yazidi people, in addition to hostage-taking, enslavement, and massacres of Muslim civilians in areas under its control.

Umm Hudaifa said his personality shifted after a year-long detention in Camp Bucca after he formed a militia to fight US and allied occupation forces in Iraq, during which time he told her that he was subjected to something “you cannot understand.”

She said he “became short-tempered and given to outbursts of anger” upon his release, and he developed “psychological problems,” which she believes were the consequences of “sexual torture.”

Al-Baghdadi, believed to have been born in the Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971, declared a global caliphate in 2014 from a mosque in Mosul after Daesh captured the city.
His claim was almost universally rejected by Muslims worldwide, and he was killed by US forces in Syria in October 2019.

Umm Hudaifa is being investigated for her role in the sexual enslavement of predominantly Yazidi women kidnapped by Daesh fighters, which she denies.

She has described the actions of Daesh as “inhumane,” and said she confronted Al-Baghdadi about the deaths of “innocent people” on his watch.

Hamid Yazidi and his niece Soad are bringing a civil case against Umm Hudaifa. Yazidi’s two wives and 26 children were allegedly taken by Daesh from their home in Sinjar, along with his two brothers and their extended families, including Soad, who was trafficked seven times by the group. Six of Yazidi’s children have never been recovered.

“She was responsible for everything,” Soad told the BBC. “She made the selections — this one to serve her, that one to serve her husband … and my sister was one of those girls.”

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