Martin Chulov, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, tells Anushka Asthana about meeting Umm Sayyaf, who described her role in helping the CIA hunt for the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And: Johny Pitts on how an ice bath with pop duo Jedward prompted a journey around Europe exploring Afropean identity
Martin Chulov, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, tells Anushka Asthana about meeting Nisrine Assad Ibrahim, better known by her nom de guerre, Umm Sayyaf – the most senior female Islamic State captive. Sayyaf, 29, is a controversial figure who has been accused of involvement in some of the terror group’s most heinous crimes, including the enslavement of the captured US aid worker Kayla Mueller and several Yazidi women and girls, who were raped by senior Isis leaders.
Chulov describes the central role Sayyaf played in the hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, helping identify safe houses used by the fugitive terrorist leader. Chulov was the first journalist to interview Sayyaf since she was captured in a Delta Force raid in Syria four years ago.