Five senior Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group's leader, in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence, two Iraqi officials said on Wednesday (May 9).
Two of Islamic State's most feared leaders have been captured in recent weeks. The US has placed a $25 million bounty on al-Baghdadi, who is still on the run.
Iraqi authorities on Wednesday said Iraq's worldwide airports and border crossings would be closed from midnight Friday, ahead of the parliamentary election on Saturday.
The Iraqi intelligence service in his statement also confirmed the arrest, but did not mention the role of the military of the United States or Turkey.
Two Iraqi officials explained to the NY daily, on condition of anonymity, that they had been following the trail of several of the IS leaders for months, but early this year they received intelligence information that led to their arrests.
A man purported to be ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would have been his first public appearance, at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, on July 5, 2014.
Iraqi security forces pull down a flag belonging to Sunni militant group ISIS.
The terrorist, who was in charge of making bank transfers into the accounts the IS maintains in different countries and one of Abu Bakr's closest confidants, was captured by Turkish authorities and handed over to Iraq.