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Saddam-era spy unveiled as mastermind behind ISIL

A recent report reveals the role of an Iraqi former intelligence officer serving during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein as “the strategic head” behind the formation of the ISIL Takfiri group.

Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, oversaw the militants’ meticulous plan, which included espionage, surveillance, kidnapping, and murder, to capture northern Syria, the German Magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

The former colonel “had been secretly pulling the strings at ISIL for years,” the report said.

The magazine claims to have gained access to secret documents belonging to Bakr, killed during clashes in 2014, which contained the blueprints of ISIL’s intelligence services’ structure and plans for the takeover of large parts of Syria, which later led to the Takfiris’ lightning advance into Iraq.

“What Bakr put on paper, page by page, with carefully outlined boxes for individual responsibilities, was nothing less than a blueprint for a takeover,” the report said. The strategist’s organizational charts and chain of command diagrams show the distinctive structure of, “an organization that resembled East Germany’s notorious Stasi domestic intelligence agency”.

The documents also unveiled ISIL’s intelligence and espionage operations aimed at gaining and maintaining power over territories they deem interesting.

According to the report, Bakr was “bitter and unemployed” following the Iraqi army dissolution by US authorities in 2003 and served time in US prisons, such as Abu Ghraib, between 2006 and 2008.

Along with a group of former Iraqi intelligence officers, Bakr appointed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as ISIL’s official leader in 2010 to, “give the group a religious face,” the report noted.

In 2012, Bakr directly oversaw his takeover plan of northern Syria with a group of militants he had collected from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Europe who were to fight alongside Chechen and Uzbek veterans.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the ISIL militants operating in Syria.

Iraq has also faced brutal violence by the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group across the country’s north and west since early June. The ISIL terrorists have threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their advances in Iraq.

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