The Iraqi authorities have taken a firm stance against the ISIS terrorist group by releasing for the first time on Sunday the names of 60 most wanted figures for belonging to the ISIS terrorist group, al-Qaeda, and the dissolved Baath Party.
The list contains the daughter of late leader Saddam Hussein, Raghad, who is living in Jordan and 28 suspected ISIS, 12 from al-Qaeda and 20 Baathists, giving details of the roles they allegedly play in their organizations, crimes of which they are suspected and in most cases, photographs.
The list consists of Iraqis and one Lebanese Maan Bashour, the former secretary-general of the Arab National Conference who is accused of recruiting fighters to “participate in terrorist activities” in Iraq.
Bashour commented on his blacklisting saying that his name was first included on a most wanted list compiled by US authorities and released in July 2006. It included the names of people accused of supporting the Iraqi resistance.
“Since then, an Arab and Lebanese campaign of solidarity was set up to support me,” said Bashour. “The accusations are not based on real evidence. We support the Iraqi resistance on the political and media levels,” he continued.
“Charges that we are recruiting fighters are false. I defy them to present one shred of evidence to prove their claims,” he demanded. He also stated that his current political position does not oppose Iraqi authorities, interpreting his blacklisting as an attack against “Arab national activities in favor of Iraq and Palestine.”
According to his speculation, the new designation against him can be attributed to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The name of ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is notably absent from the list. "These are the suspects most wanted by the judicial authorities and the security services," the official said. "This is the first time we publish these names which, until now were secret."
The terrorists in the document lists are accused of fighting in Iraq's second city Mosul and the surrounding province of Nineveh, as well as in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, and Anbar. ISIS seized a third of Iraq's territory during a lightning advance in 2014. They were later on beaten back by a US-led coalition.
The senior members of the group are on the list, among them Fawwaz Mohammad Mutlaq, a former officer in Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitary organization who later became a member of ISIS' military council. The Director of Interpol’s Arab and International Police in Iraq Sadeq Faraj Abdulrahman told Asharq Al-Awsat that there some 400 suspects wanted by Iraq and who are currently outside the country. There are some 60 of those suspects that have been arrested, while Red Notices have been issued against others, he explained.