Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the purported leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been captured, Iraqi state television said on Thursday. Al-Iraqiya television said Baghdadi was believed to have been captured in eastern Baghdad. According to Reuters, security experts have previously speculated that Baghdadi was a character invented by some extremist groups rather than a real person.
"Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was arrested today in Baghdad," Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qasim Atta said. "It was Iraqi forces who arrested him based on an intelligence tipoff from someone," he added, according to AFP.
Baghdadi's true identity has been the source of controversy since the establishment of the Islamic State in 2006. The appointment of Baghdadi as the leader of the Islamic State caused rifts within the Sunni insurgency.