A disaffected member of the Islamic State-turned-informant was critical to Saturday’s successful raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Per the Washington Post, the mole was extremely well-positioned and trusted within Baghdadi’s inner circle, helping secure him safe houses as he moved place to place.
The informant had been used as an asset by the Syrian Democratic Forces, who turned over his information to U.S. intelligence. U.S. officials spent weeks vetting the man to make sure he was legitimate.
Thanks to him, American soldiers were able to pinpoint the town and compound Baghdadi was hiding in, eventually storming the structure. Baghdadi fled to the end of a tunnel, reportedly trying to use a few of his children as human shields. He detonated a suicide vest he kept on his person at all times, killing himself and the kids. His head was reportedly in tact after the explosion, allowing for positive identification.
The informant and his family have been removed from the region, and he will likely get some of the $25 million bounty placed on Baghdadi’s head.