Baghdad: An Iraqi grandmother claims to be one of the people most feared by IS and has received personal death threats from the group’s leader.
Wahida Mohamed Al-Jumaily, 39, said she has beheaded and cooked the heads of IS fighters to avenge the deaths of her family .
IS killed her second husband earlier this year and has previously killed her father and three brothers.
Better known as Um Hanadi, she leads a 70-strong militia in the fight against IS in the recently liberated town of Shirqat, which sits 50 miles south of the IS’ Iraq stronghold of Mosul. “I fought them, I beheaded them, I cooked their heads, I burned their bodies,” she told CNN.
The militia leader, who describes herself as a “housewife”, has published a photo on Facebook appearing to show her carrying a severed head, and another showing two severed heads in a cooking pot. A third photo appears to show her standing among headless bodies which have been burned.
She said she head received personal death threats “from the top leadership of IS,” she said, “including from (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi himself “.
“I’m at the top of their most wanted list, even more than the Prime Minister,” she added. “Six times they tried to assassinate me. I have shrapnel in my head and legs, my ribs were broken, but all that didn’t stop me from fighting,” she said in the interview, lifting her headscarf to reveal several scars.
Um Hanadi began fighting jihadis in 2004, she said, working with Iraqi forces and the coalition in the battle against al-Qaida and later IS.
She recently led her militia in the battle to help government forces drive IS from Shirqat. General Jamaa Anad, commander of Iraqi ground forces in Salahuddin province, told CNN they had provided her group with vehicles and weapons. “She lost her brothers and husbands as martyrs,” he said. “So out of revenge she formed her own force.”
Isis fighters are afraid of being killed by women, according to female Kurdish soldiers, because they believe it means they won’t go to heaven.