An Iraqi official in Baghdad has revealed on Thursday that several foreign intelligence delegations have arrived recently in Iraq, most of which are European. They came to Iraq in order to coordinate with the Iraqi authorities, which detains dozens of Daesh fighters, including leading figures having Western nationalities. The homelands of these foreigners are seeking information about their local links before moving to Iraq and Syria.
Baghdad is holding dozens of Daesh fighters, who are captured by the Iraqi forces during the battles, which aimed to liberate the northern and western areas in the country held by Daesh and lasted between 2014 and the end of 2017.
Most of the detained prominent fighters of Daesh are French, British and German, and some of them belong to the republics of the former Soviet Union, such as Chechnya. Most prominent nationalities among Arab Daesh fighters are Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Moroccan and Egyptian.
Detainees are deployed in several detention centres, mainly in Baghdad and southern and central Iraq, as well as a town near Sulaymaniyah Governorate in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Most of these detainees are facing sentences ranging from execution to life imprisonment, while others are still waiting for the verdict.
The same source revealed that most of the foreign detainees were arrested inside Iraq before, in an attempt to stress that Iraq did not receive any foreign fighters belonging to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) yet, except for the 14 Frenchmen declared earlier this month. The source highlighted that “Iraq has provided assistance to several countries in relation to the exchange of security information related to terrorist activities and terrorists held in Iraq, in the framework of global efforts to eliminate terrorist movements”
In the same vein, a senior Iraqi official in Baghdad told the New Arab that several foreign security and intelligence delegations have visited Iraq and asked for help to communicate with their detained citizens in Iraq to obtain information about their contacts at home before they travel to Iraq and the way they were recruited.
On the other hand, a member of the Security and Defence Committee in the Iraqi Parliament stressed that “Iraq may have to receive some foreign militants of Daesh from Syria.”
The member of the Committee, Mohammad Reza, said in a statement to local Iraqi media that “the Iraqi government felt the international pressure for the extradition of Daesh foreign militants currently detained in Syria,” indicating that “the government may be forced to receive foreign Daesh militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria, because their countries refuse to receive them, and if Iraq refuses to do so, some of them could succeed in infiltrating into Iraqi territory.
Reza added that “the government considers their official extradition and detention better than they remain a danger and a threat to Iraqi security.”
The expert in armed groups in Iraq, Ali Al-Bakri stressed that the Iraqi authorities showed great cooperation with the security and intelligence delegations in relation to the results of investigations of the foreign Daesh militants coming from Europe in particular, as the issue falls within the framework of cooperation to fight Daesh that was approved by the Security Council in 2014.
Al-Bakri said in an interview with the New Khaleej that “these countries are trying to find out how their terrorist citizens moved to Iraq, and who helped them. They believe that there are sleeper cells or people who made it easy for them to join Daesh and helped them travel to Iraq or Syria.”
He clarified that “Daesh militants are now a valuable treasure of information for these countries that try to get from them the explanation for many of the dark areas at the stage of the establishment of Daesh and its rapid growth and extreme brutality compared to other groups that preceded it.