Iraq's defense minister on Wednesday stated that the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group was in custody, dismissing an online statement by the very man denying he was arrested.
According to the AP, Abdul-Qader al-Obedi told parliament deputies that the man captured on April 23 was Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State in Iraq.
On Tuesday, some jihadist Web sites aired an audio message purportedly from al-Baghdadi mocking the Iraqi government for publishing false information about his arrest. "Everyone was surprised by the lies of the Green Zone leaders who claimed again that they detained me," said the speaker in the online message.
The U.S. military never confirmed al-Baghdadi's arrest and, in the past, has even doubted his existence.