Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has confirmed that Iraqi forces have detained Abd al-Baqi al-Saadun, a senior aide to former dictator Saddam Hussein.
Premier Abadi announced in a televised speech on Saturday that al-Saadun, one of the most senior Saddam regime officials to have remained at large following the overthrow of the former Ba’ath regime, had been taken into custody.
“The intelligence service was able to arrest the wanted man Abd al-Baqi al-Saadun,” Abadi said.
Meanwhile, an unnamed senior Iraqi intelligence officer told media outlets that al-Saadun was detained on Thursday “without resistance” in the northern province of Kirkuk.
The officer added that al-Saadun’s arrest came following a sophisticated intelligence operation that lasted more than a year.
The senior Saddam regime official was wanted for crimes against humanity, which were committed against Shia Muslims in 1999. He held various senior positions in Saddam’s Ba’ath Party and was deeply involved in the suppression of an uprising by Shia Muslims against the former Iraqi regime.
Earlier in April, Iraqi government forces killed Saddam’s former deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who also had remained at large following the US-led invasion of Iraq – which toppled Saddam – in 2003.
Al-Douri had joined the ISIL terrorists when the Takfiris started their campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014.
Former loyalists of Saddam’s Ba’ath regime, hand in hand with the Takfiri ISIL terrorists, have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against all Iraqi communities.