A massively obese Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) mufti, Shifa al-Nima was pulled from his hiding place by elite Iraqi SWAT team members in a raid on Thursday last week. The man was too large to fit in a police car and had to be put in the back of a police vehicle, wedged between a mounted machine gun and the back of the lorry and he was carted off to prison.
He was one of the main figures to order the butchering, executions, enslavement, rape, kidnapping and sale of non-Muslims and Muslims that opposed ISIS.
Al-Nima was nabbed by the SWAT regiment of the Nineveh police command in Mosul district in northern Iraq, which continues to fight ISIS even amid months of protests and recent US-Iran tensions in the country.
The US-led coalition suspended anti-ISIS operations earlier this month but has recently tried to restart them. According the Iraqi police this mufti was a well-known preacher who spread extremism in mosques against security forces and incited on behalf of ISIS.
“He is considered one of the foremost leaders of ISIS and was responsible for issuing fatwas that led to the murder of scholars and clerics,” Iraqi police said.
Nima also issued the fatwa to bomb the tomb of Prophet Yunus in Mosul, an ancient cultural site. He was arrested in the Mansur neighborhood in western Mosul.
Locals in Mosul have terrible memories of the mufti who they say was a strong supporter of destroying Mosul’s heritage. The ISIS member had become massively obese in hiding, weighing several hundred pounds.
It was unclear how he was removed from his hiding place and many online mocked his weight saying he must have been hiding in a bakery.
ISIS continues to have a presence in Iraq, but it has been unable to launch major operations. Nevertheless, it has many sleeper cells and also has members living in caves and hideouts in rural areas of Iraq, preparing for resurgence.