Defector reveals thousands of Islamic State internal documents
March 14, 2016 1 Comment
Tens of thousands of classified documents belonging to the Islamic State have been released by a disillusioned former member of the organization, who says that the group has been taken over by secularists. According to British-based agency Sky News, the documents were provided on a memory stick stolen from the Islamic State by a Syrian former member of the organization, who goes by the name “Abu Hamed”. Hamed allegedly stole the documents from the Islamic State’s “internal security police”, which Sky News also refers to as “the group’s Security Service”. He took it with him when he defected from the organization, which he says he joined as a convert from the non-Islamist Free Syrian Army. He told Sky News’ Stuart Ramsay that he left the group after concluding that it had been “taken over” by former Iraqi soldiers belonging to Ba’ath, the secularist party that was at the heart of the regime led by the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. As a result, “Islamic rules […] have totally collapsed” inside the Islamic State, said Hamed.
The documents that Hamed gave Sky News are said to number in the “tens of thousands” and reportedly identify nationals from over 50 countries who are members of the Islamic State. Many of the documents contain the 23-question form that all prospective members of the Islamic State have to complete before being admitted into the organization. The questionnaires contain the prospective members’ names and aliases, contact information and family background, among other identifying data. Ramsay said he met Hamed “in a secret location in Turkey”, where the former Free Syrian Army soldier is now living after defecting from the Islamic State. According to the Sky News reporter, Hamed said he abandoned the Islamist organization because its current leadership consists almost exclusively of Ba’athists, who are not known for their religious views or lifestyle.
Ramsay reports that many of the names of Islamic State members that are contained in the documents are already “well-known” to Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. But the collection of members’ names contains several individuals from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe, as well as North America, who were allegedly not included in intelligence agencies’ lists. One file surrendered by Hamed is headlined “Martyrs”, and allegedly features the names of members of a brigade that consists “entirely of fighters who wanted to carry out suicide attacks and were trained to do so”. Hamed is also reported to have told Sky News that the Islamic State is gradually abandoning its self-described state capital of Raqqa in Syria and relocating to Iraq. Sky News said it had informed Western government agencies about the documents.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 14 March 2016 | Permalink