BAGHDAD – An Iraqi official denied Wednesday that a woman detained in Lebanon is a wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, adding that she is the sister of a terror suspect being held in Iraq.
The statement by Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan Ibrahim adds to the confusion surrounding the identity of the woman and child who were detained about 10 days ago in northern Lebanon travelling with a fake ID.
Lebanese officials said the woman, Saja al-Dulaimi, is believed to be the wife of the reclusive ISIS leader who was held by Syrian authorities and freed in a prisoner exchange with the Nusra Front, Syria's Al Qaeda branch, earlier this year.
The interrogation of the woman was being supervised by Lebanon's military prosecutor.
It was unclear what would have brought the woman and child to Lebanon, where IS controls no territory and enjoys only small support in some predominantly Sunni Muslim areas.
On Wednesday, Ibrahim told The Associated Press that al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi national who traveled to Syria before arriving in Lebanon, is not al-Baghdadi's wife. He identified her as the sister of Omar Abdul Hamid al-Dulaimi, who is being held in Iraq as a terror suspect.
He added that al-Baghdadi has two wives but neither is named Saja al-Dulaimi. There was no immediate comment from Lebanese authorities.
In Lebanon, a military expert was killed and two others wounded Wednesday when a bomb they were about to dismantle near the border with Syria exploded, the army said.
The explosion comes a day after an ambush by suspected Islamic militants in the same area killed six soldiers and wounded one.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday's ambush or for planting the bomb that was discovered Wednesday.
Lebanese troops have been battling Syria-based Islamic militants, including the extremist Islamic State group and the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, in areas near the border.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry spokesman said police have not ruled out the possibility that Islamic State group supporters were behind the shooting of a Danish man last month.
It was the first time a Saudi official publicly comments on the incident since a video was released by alleged ISIS supporters claiming responsibility for the drive-by shooting in Riyadh Nov. 22. The Danish citizen survived the shooting.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki's comments were published Wednesday in the Saudi Al-Eqtisadia newspaper.
The video was released online this week by a group purporting to be ISIS supporters. It shows a gunman pulling up beside a vehicle and firing at the driver. It identifies the target as Thomas Hoepner. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video.