ISIS Leader's Ex-Wife Captured at Lebanon Border

The ex-wife of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is in Lebanese custody.

December 02, 2014, 7:59 AM

BEIRUT— -- The former wife of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has been arrested after crossing into Lebanon from Syria with fake documents, Lebanese security and military officials told ABC News today.

The woman, whose identity has not been officially revealed, was taken into custody with a child.

But Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told CNN that U.S. officials believe the woman is "a former wife of al Baghdadi." And going a little further than what he said at an earlier Pentagon briefing, Kirby said initial indications of the reports of her capture are accurate.

Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper, which first reported the arrest today, said that the woman has been detained for 10 days and questioned at Lebanon’s Ministry of Defense, where “investigations are ongoing.” The newspaper said the arrest was made in conjunction with foreign intelligence services, describing it as “a valuable catch.” It’s not known how many wives Baghdadi has and there are conflicting reports as to the sex of the child.

Al Baghdadi has proclaimed himself the caliph, or ruler of all Muslims, whose group controls a vast area of northern Syria and western Iraq.

The arrest comes as Lebanon grapples with how to deal with the kidnappings of more than 20 Lebanese soldiers by ISIS and the Syrian al Qaeda-linked group Jabhat al-Nusra. The groups have repeatedly threatened to kill the hostages if militants being held in Lebanon’s Roumieh prison are not released. On Monday, families of the soldiers -- who have been staging a sit-in in downtown Beirut demanding government action -- burned tires in response to the latest threat.

Reports that Baghdadi had been killed or wounded in a recent U.S. airstrike were refuted by him in an audio recording last month in which he called on followers to unleash “volcanoes of jihad.”

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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