She Endured Only Three Months Married to al-Baghdadi

Photo of author

( — October 30, 2019) — The leader of the so-called Islamic State, Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi, was killed over the weekend when he activated an explosive vest. The blast also killed his three children and two women that were also present, presumably members of al-Baghdadi’s family.

The United States has long been in search of the terrorist, and US President Donald Trump said the military operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was more significant than the one against Osama bin Laden in 2011 during Obama’s reign.

Two years ago, the ex-wife of the most wanted man in the world and the head of the Islamic State – Saga el Dulaymi, 30, was interviewed by a reporter from Swedish television. In this interview she said that she married a “normal person, a university lecturer” and did not know how he [al-Baghdadi] ended up being the head of a terrorist group.

“I married a normal person who was a university lecturer. At the time his name was Hisham Mohammad,” said Saga el Dulaymi, the ex-wife of the leader of the world’s most dangerous jihadist group, the Islamic State, in an interview with Swedish television Express, 3 years ago.
It was her first interview since she was released from Lebanon prison in 2015.

Saga grew up in a conservative well situated family in Baghdad. Before she met the man who became known as Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi, she has already been married once and has twin boys from her first marriage.

Her first husband was the bodyguard of Saddam Hussein who was killed fighting US troops in Iraq just one year after the wedding.

In Iraq and other Muslim communities, married men are allowed to marry widows so that they can care for their children. They believe it is a good deed for which they will be rewarded after death. This is how Saga married Baghdadi.

“I didn’t notice that he was active in any way. I moved into his home and that’s where we lived. So many of us living together in the same apartment was tough. There was him, me and my children and his first wife and her children,” Saga explains.

The man known at the time as Hisham Muhammad did not tell his first wife that he wanted to marry a second time and bring another woman into the houshold. Saga says she would rather forget her first encounter with Baghdadi’s first wife.

“He [al-Baghdadi] didn’t say much about his background. He was mysterious. He wasn’t very talkative. We met in the evenings, over dinner. He spent his days at the university, where he taught religion and Sharia. He would sometimes disappear for several days. He said he’d been to visit his brother,” Saga recalls.

“No, I was not in love with him. I didn’t love him. He was an enigmatic person. You couldn’t have a discussion or hold a normal conversation with him. In the evening, when he came home, we would usually eat dinner together. He just asked about things and told me to fetch things. He gave orders, nothing more,” Saga told the reporter.

Saga left him after only three months of marriage, unaware that she was pregnant. Their daughter Hogar is now 11 years old. “She carried all the weight on her shoulders. What is the fault of the children in all this? It is not her fault that she is the daughter of the most wanted terrorist in the world.”

After all her troubles in Iraq and later Syria, where she moved after the invasion of Iraq, Saga says she now wants to live in Europe, not in Arab countries.

“Where is my guilt? I was married to him in 2008. We’re divorced now. I was the one who left him. I’m a woman who has been through a lot and who has suffered in prison,” Saga argued adding that it was never about the money. 

“If I wanted to live with al-Baghdadi, I could have lived like a princess. I don’t want money. I want to live in freedom,” she said.

Saga remarried and got another son, her fourth child.