Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiReuters

Iraqi security forces arrested a key deputy of former Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they said on Tuesday.

According to Iraq's Security Media Cell communications body, a terrorist known as Abu Khaldoun was arrested in the town of Hawija in the Iraqi province of Kirkuk.

Abu Khaldoun was reportedly al-Baghdadi's deputy and was the military commander for the Salah al-Din province. According to the Iraqi security forces, he was apprehended alive and was carrying a fake ID card.

Baghdadi was eliminated in late October in a US operation in Syria after years of conflicting reports about his fate.

ISIS subsequently named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as the jihadist group’s new leader.

US President Donald Trump later made clear that the United States knows exactly who the new leader of ISIS is and indicated that al-Qurashi is being pursued by the US.