This week has carried a particularly intriguing story.
It comes out of Lebanon, with Lebanese authorities detaining a woman with her son, first thought to be the wife of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The arrest came a few weeks ago when the woman tried to enter Lebanon from Syria – apparently with fake documents.
So called “foreign intelligence apparatus” was involved in her apprehension – as she would be a high value target.
Many versions of just who she was were circulating from regional sources, including Iraq and Lebanon.
It turns out that the woman was married to Baghdadi for three months six years ago, and has a daughter by him.
She was traveling with her daughter, and two sons.
Lebanese security used DNA from both the woman and the daughter with her, along with DNA from Iraqi authorities of Al-Baghdadi to ascertain the match.
The two boys with her are from a previous marriage. It turns out, in fact, that she is now married to a Palestinian, and is actually pregnant with his child.
Her family is a known terror source with her father and brother being active in Al-Nusra Front.
She was in custody at the beginning of the year and released in an Al-Nusra prisoner exchange for Greek Orthodox Nuns whom the group kidnapped. 120 prisoners were swapped, and this woman was part of that exchange,
One Lebanese official has said she is a “powerful card” in negotiations with IS and Al-Nusra, who are currently holding more than 20 Lebanese soldiers and police hostage.
They are threatening to kill them unless militants are freed from Lebanese jails.
Islamic State has not commented on the affair.
Al-Nusra has condemned her being held.
Make no mistake, authorities are pleased to have the chance to glean information from her as they seek to learn more about the self proclaimed Caliph – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Middle East Correspondent