A U.S. military operation that ended in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly largely successful because of highly accurate intel provided by an inside informant.
According to The Washington Post, a mole inside the Islamic State knew not only the location of al-Baghdadi's hideout but also the room-by-room layout of the compound.
U.S. officials told the Post that this knowledge proved to be critical during the raid.
The operative was reportedly present during the raid and then exfiltrated with his family two days later. His nationality has not be revealed, and he is expected to receive some, if not all, of the $25 million bounty the U.S. had placed on al-Baghdadi.
Groomed as an asset by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the agent was then transferred to U.S. forces, where he was reportedly groomed for weeks to certify his authenticity.
The process of using the asset's knowledge started in the summer, but the chance to act on it came only within the past few weeks, the Post reported.
An official with knowledge of the situation told the newspaper that "it was assessed for quite a while that the person might have the key to the lock."
"That only really seriously became clear within the last couple of weeks," the official added.
The Pentagon and White House have yet to officially comment on the reported mole. The Post based its report on information from two current and former U.S. officials and a Middle East-based official.
On Saturday, al-Baghdadi’s compound was attacked by members of the military’s elite Delta Force and 75th Ranger Regiment. Al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children, after being cornered in a tunnel by U.S. forces.