Kurdish general says Baghdadi's stolen underwear was a piece of key information that led to raid

Catherine Garcia

One of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's security advisers stole a pair of his underwear and a blood sample in order to prove to Kurdish intelligence that he was in fact part of his inner circle, NBC News reports.

Gen. Mazloum Abdi of the Syrian Democratic Forces told NBC News that U.S. intelligence tested the underwear and blood, and when it was determined they were DNA matches to Baghdadi, the hunt was on. The unidentified adviser was able to share with the Kurds details about Baghdadi's compound in Syria, giving them a floor plan and revealing how many guards were on the property.

Abdi said the information was passed to American forces, who then began planning a raid against the compound. President Trump announced on Sunday morning that the operation against Baghdadi was carried out on Saturday, and that he detonated a suicide vest he was wearing, killing himself and three children. The adviser was there during the raid, Abdi told NBC News, but left with U.S. forces.

The Kurds spent years fighting the Islamic State, losing 11,000 men and women. During his announcement, Trump first thanked Russia, then said the Kurds shared "some information that turned out to be helpful."