Iraq’s interior ministry on Tuesday announced the arrest of an alleged Islamic State terrorist member who was involved in the destruction of ancient monuments and artifacts at the Mosul Museum when the terror group controlled the city.
A security forces’ unit arrested an “ISIS member who confessed to destroying and demolishing artifacts in Mosul Museum,” Interior Ministry spokesperson Saad Maan said in a statement.
Maan added the detainee had appeared in one of the propaganda videos the Islamic State produced when they controlled the city of Mosul. He “was carrying an iron hammer in his hand and demolishing archaeological statues in the museum.”
The official said a team made up of the country’s various security apparatuses made the arrest in the Tal al-Rumman neighborhood in eastern Mosul.
The terrorist organization took over the Mosul Museum in 2014 when it first emerged in Iraq. The establishment was built in 1952 and housed over 2,000 artifacts.
During the years the Islamic State-controlled the area, the insurgents released footage and pictures of its members destroying priceless ancient Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Persian, and Roman artifacts, reliefs, and sites, drawing condemnation from experts around the world.
Iraqi forces recaptured the museum from the group on the western side of Mosul on March 2017, but the museum and its content suffered significant damage. It was later discovered that the terror group sold and trafficked some of the artifacts.