Trump announces the capture of the five ‘most wanted’ ISIS terrorists who were lured from Syria to Iraq with fake Telegram app messages

A jubilant President Trump tweeted on Thursday to announce that five of the ‘Most Wanted leaders of ISIS‘ have been captured after they were lured from Syria to Iraq with fake Telegram messages.

Iraqi officials used the cell phone of already captured ISIS lieutenant Ismail al-Eithawi to send instructions via the app for the four other leaders to come to Iraq, where they were seized.

The encrypted app was officially named by ISIS as one of its favored mobile messaging services in 2015 and has been regularly used by the terror group for private communication and to spread propaganda.

Al-Eithawi, who also uses the alias Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, was captured in February by Turkish intelligence and handed
over to the Iraqis.

Eithawi was a direct aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, responsible for fund transfers to the group’s bank accounts in different countries.

Saddam al-Jamal, a Syrian who was accused of taking part of a massacre in the province of Deir Ezzor in 2014 which killed 700 members of a tribe that rose up against ISIS, was the second most senior member to be captured.

Trump tweeted about the capture, which included two of the highest-ranking ISIS commanders ever to be taken alive

Apart from al-Eithawi and al-Jamal, the operation captured three field commanders: Syrian Mohamed al-Qadeer
and two Iraqis, Omar al-Karbouli and Essam al-Zawbai, Hashimi said.

Iraqi intelligence released images of the five men on national television on Wednesday.

Al-Eithawi and al-Jamal are the two most senior Islamic State figures ever to be captured alive.

The former served as ISIS governor in Syria’s eastern Euphrates region and as a minister in charge of the group’s so-called education department.

Al-Jamal, meanwhile, had previously been a commander in the Free Syrian Army and then leader of a western-allied ‘moderate’ Islamist group called Ahfab al-Rasoul.

This was effectively destroyed by ISIS following a military campaign, and al-Jamal reappeared in an ISIS video to say he had defected from his former group which he branded ‘stooges’ of the West, according to The London Times.

As head of ISIS in Deir Ezzor, he is accused of overseeing the murders of 700 members of the Shaitat tribe after it rebelled against ISIS.

Al-Jamal is said to have ordered the execution of children, sometimes in front of their parents.


Pentagon: 7 killed in U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq

Image result for Pentagon: 7 killed in U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq

All seven service members aboard a U.S. helicopter were killed when it crashed in western Iraq on Thursday, the U.S. military said Friday.

The crash did not appear to be the result of enemy activity, it added. A Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity said there were seven service members aboard the aircraft.

The HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter —a type of Black Hawk — went down near the town of Qaim in Anbar Province at approximately 2:45 p.m. ET.

It was not on a combat mission when it crashed, CNN reported.

An accompanying U.S. helicopter reported the incident and Iraqi security forces and members of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq secured the scene, said the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga said the service members’ names would be released after their relatives have been informed.

“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations. We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today,” Braga said in a statement.

Two New York fire officials were among those who died in the crash, the FDNY confirmed Friday. They were Lt. Christopher Raguso, 39, and fire marshall Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis, 37.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his condolences for the two men.

“They are truly two of New York City’s bravest – running into danger to protect and defend others, both in New York City and in combat overseas,” de Blasio said. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, loved ones, and fellow service members and FDNY members.”

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, a U.S. Air Force pararescueman, also died in the crash, friends confirmed.  Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Fla., was a member of the 308th Rescue Squadron.

“I am speechless and I am heartbroken,” wrote Dan Sherraden in a Facebook post. “One of our very best friends was killed in Iraq yesterday. Carl Enis was the most stable, genuine, selfless, and talented man I have ever known.”

Daniel Martinko met Enis, originally from Miami, around 2005 as a freshman in college in Tallahassee. “He’s the best guy I’ve ever met. I mean truly,” Martinko said in a phone interview. “Any interaction he ever had with anybody he left them better than he found them.”

Martinko said he learned of Enis’ death on Facebook and later talked to his brother-in-law and a few of their mutual friends. “It killed me,” he said. “This is a total loss for everybody that’s ever known him or never got to.”

President Trump offered condolences Friday to the families of those who died. “Their sacrifice in service to our country will never be forgotten, the president tweeted.

Contributing: Karl Etters and Jeff Burlew, Tallahassee Democrat