Officer under Saddam Hussein drew up Islamic State master plan

April 19, 2015 10:59 PM

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An ex-intelligence officer under the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was "the strategic head" behind the Islamic State group and drew up the blueprints for the jihadists' capture of northern Syria, German weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

Former colonel Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, who was better known as Haji Bakr and was killed by Syrian rebels in January 2014, "had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years", according to the magazine.

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