The ex-wife of Islamic State (Isis) terror warlord Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has said he was a "normal family man" and is bemused by his rise to becoming the world's most wanted terrorist. Al-Baghdadi is head of the world's most infamous terror organisation which has carved up huge chunks of Syria and Iraq declaring the plundered land his "caliphate".
The 44-year-old Sunni Muslim has implicated a particularly brutal version of Shariah Law in its Middle Eastern fiefdom acting as a beacon to marginalised extremists from all over the globe. The Islamic scholar is said to have had three wives and several children.
But according to one of them, Saga al-Dulmaimi, who has a daughter with the global terrorist, he is a far cry from the man she married in 2008 when he worked as a university lecturer, teaching religion and Sharia.
In an interview with Swedish website Expressen, al-Dullmaini who has fled Syria, said that she had no idea about his murderous ambitions and terrorist ideals. She said: "I married a normal person who was a university lecturer. At the time his name was Hisham Mohammad."
Describing the 57th most powerful man in the world according to Forbes, she said: "He was a family man. He went to work and came home to his family.
"He didn't even take part in the resistance movement. How he then became Emir of the most dangerous terrorist organisation in the world is a mystery to me."
Al-Baghdadi, who rose to prominence as Daesh (Isis) leader in 2013 has a $10m bounty placed on his head by the US. He has been accused of multiple rapes of women as well as fostering a culture of sexual slavery amongst its fighters.
Al-Dulmaimi said that she grew up in Iraq and married the jihadist preacher after her first husband was killed fighting American soldiers. "He loved the children," she added. "He was their idol. He was an excellent person in that respect, but my relationship with him was shallow."
But she claims she was living with another of his wives and their children and after becoming pregnant decided to leave. She said: "I left him. Yes, you could say that I fled from him. It had nothing to do with him as a person. I wasn't happy. It was unfair on his first wife. She was very upset. That's why I left.
"I didn't love him. He was an enigmatic person. You couldn't have a discussion or hold a normal conversation with him."
Syrian security services have suspected al-Dulmaimi herself of being a terrorist and believe that her father is an al-Nusra Front terrorist group leader. After escaping al-Baghdadi she was imprisoned in both Syria and Lebanon.
She was swapped with al-Nusra terrorists for Lebanese soldiers in November 2015 and now lives with her Palestinian husband in a secret location always wary al-Baghdadi may try to kidnap her daughter Hagar, who wants to travel to Europe to study. During the interview she denounced the IS attacks in Paris and Brussels.
She said: "Civilians were killed. When people with weapons kill civilians, isn't that terrorism? It's murder, blood and brutality. As a mother, I consider what they're doing to be terrorism. If someone hurts my son, he's a terrorist. Every mother thinks that."