An informant close to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who gave U.S. officials credible intelligence on al-Baghdadi's whereabouts, will receive some, or all, of the $25 million bounty that the American government placed on al-Baghdadi's head.
The informant had detailed knowledge of al-Baghdadi's Syrian safe house and his movements because he worked closely with al-Baghdadi, the Washington Post reported. Though the informant's identity will not be revealed, one U.S. official who spoke to the Post described the man as a Sunni Arab.
The ISIS turncoat was so close to al-Baghdadi, in fact, that he was present during the raid that resulted in al-Baghdadi's death. According to the Post, U.S. officials then exfiltrated the informant and his family from the region two days later.
The intelligence asset was initially groomed by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, then turned over to U.S. intelligence officers.
"It was assessed for quite a while that the person might have the key to the lock," one U.S. official told the Post. "That only really seriously became clear within the last couple of weeks."
Polat Can, a senior SDF adviser, revealed this week that the CIA and SDF have worked together since May to find al-Baghdadi. He also revealed that in order to confirm al-Baghdadi's presence at the compound, the informant stole some of al-Baghdadi's underwear for DNA analysis.
The informant turned against the Islamic State because the terrorist group had killed one of his family members, the Post reported.