Reports on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife and children being part of the exchange deal that saw the release of nuns in March has gained quite some attention, especially after their photos were leaked to the media.
The photos have now gone viral. Reports claim that al-Baghdadi's wife Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, her two sons and younger brother were captives of the Syrian government. However, there is no confirmation whether the Syrian government was aware that the prisoners they had released were the Islamic State Caliph's wife and children.
Reports of al-Baghdadi's family being released in exchange of the nuns were first leaked by Abu Maan al-Suri, a member of ISIS rival-front Nusra. Al Suri identified Baghdadi's wife al Dulaimi and children in the exchange video to the Lebanese TV channel LBCI News.
Since March the reports have been doing the round, but since the images in the video were blurry none were able to authenticate the report.
Earlier on Thursday, Al Arabiya identified Saja Hamid as the daughter of Ibrahim Dulaimi, a self-proclaimed emir in Syria who was reportedly killed in Sept 2013 in Deir Attiyeh during an attack against the Assad army. The Dulaimi family is said to be strong ISIS supporters and reportedly al Dulaimi's younger sister, Duaa was behind the suicide attacks in Arbil.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 17, 2014
It is also reported the ISIS leader, who now calls himself Caliph Ibrahim is al Dulaimi's second husband. She was earlier married to Fallah Ismail Jassem, a member of Rashideen Army, who was killed in a battle with Iraqi army in 2010.
Who is Abu Bakr al Baghdadi?
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's real name is Ibrahim Awad al Badari and though he has taken the surname Baghdadi to suggest that he is a Baghdadi, but in fact he was born in Samarra, which over 50 miles from Iraq capital.
According to The Guardian, al Baghdadi has a master's degree and a PhD in Islamic studies at the University of Islamic Sciences in the Baghdad suburb of Adhamiya.
In 2005, he was arrested and jailed for suspected anti-Sunni insurgency, and following his release, he joined with Abu Omar al Baghdadi, who is said to have been the first leader of Islamic State, before his death.