Iraq Sentences Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Wife to Death

Asma Mohammed, the wife of late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Iraqi court. The court found her guilty of “crimes against humanity,” genocide against the Yazidi people, and “terrorist actions.”

Mohammed was apprehended in Turkey in 2018 and extradited to Iraq last year.

Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of the Long War Journal, observed that Iraq is taking a tough stance against high-profile ISIS detainees and their families.

“It’s highly likely that given how family members of senior leaders were involved in terrorist operations, propaganda, it’s likely that she is involved,” he added. 


However, Roggio also cautioned that Mohammed’s execution could be used by ISIS as propaganda, potentially portraying her as a martyr. 

Iraqi officials assert that ISIS forces abducted Yazidi women and that Mohammed held some of them captive in her Mosul residence.  

“The criminal court today sentenced Baghdadi’s wife to death by hanging for crimes against humanity and genocide against the Yazidi people and also for contributing to terrorism actions,” an Iraqi court official told a news agency. 


Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. special forces raid in Syria in 2019, detonating an explosive vest during the operation. 

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated last August that “ISIS abducted and killed thousands of Yezidis, forcing boys to become child soldiers and selling women and girls into sexual slavery. 

“The number of people killed remains unknown, and discoveries of mass graves continue,” he added. “The scars of that experience are borne by Yazidis around the world to this day.”