Leader of World's Deadliest Terror Organization Used to Be a Secretary

Posted: Feb 19, 2015 3:30 PM

While not much is known about the Islamic State’s brutal leader, newly released Army documents obtained by Business Insider through a FOIA request now provide a slightly closer look at the life of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his rise to infamy. Turns out, the self-declared caliph was once a bespectacled secretary.

According to the files, al-Baghdadi was captured in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on Feb. 4, 2004, and held as a “civilian detainee” for just over 11 months. He was not considered a jihadi or member of a militia at the time, and his “civilian occupation” was listed as “Administrative Work (Secretary).”

No specific reason was listed in the files for why he was detained, but it is believed that he was apprehended while visiting a friend named Nessayif Numan Nessayif, according to Business Insider.

Al-Baghdadi was held at multiple facilities throughout his imprisonment, including Camp Bucca and Camp Adder. An unflattering prison photo shows al-Baghdadi with glasses and a receding hairline.

As of 2014, al-Baghdadi was identified as a 43-year-old married man, though his birth date was redacted in the documents, according to Business Insider.

His next of kin was an uncle, but the names of his family members were also redacted in the records.

My, how people change over time.