An Iraqi court in the Al-Rusafa administrative district of Baghdad. Photo: Iraq SJC
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s High Judicial Council announced that a criminal court in Baghdad has sentenced a Russian man to death for being a member of ISIS.
The foreign ISIS member from Russia confessed “to carrying out several terrorist operations against the security services since 2015,” the Spokesperson of the Supreme Judicial Council Abdul Sattar Bayraktar said in a statement on Tuesday.
The man was accused of being part of the al-Zarqawi brigade, an armed wing of ISIS. Iraqi security forces arrested the defendant during the liberation of western Mosul after the individual ran out of ammunition, according to the statement.
In accordance to Article four of Iraq’s anti-terrorism law, he has been sentenced to death by hanging, Bayraktar added.
The Russian Embassy in Iraq had not released any information on the case and did not respond requests for comment by Rudaw English.
The Russian’s execution would not be unprecedented. Iraq executed a foreign convict in February 2016 in Nasiriyah prison in Dhi Qar province, but the Justice Ministry did not reveal the individual’s identity or other details.
About 50 women and children of foreign ISIS militants including Russian nationals were interviewed by Rudaw in early September
after fleeing fighting in Tal Afar.
Iraq’s elite Golden Forces captured 75 ISIS militants, many of them carrying Russian identity papers in western Mosul’s Maamoun neighborhood, Rudaw reported in March.
Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated in 2015 there were “5,000 to 7,000 fighters from Russia and other CIS [former Soviet] member states fighting for ISIL” in Iraq and Syria.
The US intelligence community estimates that some 40,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria since the terror organization first declared its caliphate in 2014 in Mosul.
However, it still remains unclear just how many ISIS fighters, including foreigners, have been captured and are awaiting court trials since areas once controlled by ISIS in recent months have been liberated.