Leaked ISIS documents are a gold mine of information. Here’s what you need to know
A trove of documents, containing over 20,000 names, addresses and phone numbers of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have been leaked to the media by a former ISIS sympathiser named Abu Hamed.
Hamed stole the documents from the terror group’s internal police chief and handed them to several news organisations including America’s NBC and the UK’s Sky News. The documents contain details of recruits from at least 51 countries, who gave up their most personal information as they became members of the terror organisation.
The leaked documents also reveal a long and thorough application process with a large amount of paperwork. No one is inducted into the group unless he/she completes a 23 item questionnaire with questions such as:
What’s your first and last name?
Your education and work experience?
Do you have recommendations?
Are you willing to be a suicide attacker or would you prefer to be a fighter for ISIS?
The forms also include sections to be filled at a later date, such as the time and place of a member’s death. An ISIS flag is stamped on the right corner of the forms and the top left corner bears the group’s version of a border entry stamp. They are typed in Arabic and neatly arranged in rows and columns, with “private” stamped at the bottom.
A good number of the names on the registration forms are well known. They include Junaid Hussain, the head of the group’s media wing and his wife Sally Jones. These two plotted attacks in the UK. Hussain is now dead, but the whereabouts of his wife is unknown.
Another name on the list is Abdel Bary, a 26-year old British, who was recruited in 2013 after his visit to Libya, Turkey, and Egypt. Before joining ISIS, Bary had a budding career as a rapper in UK. His location is currently unknown as well.
Another recruit, Reyaad Khan, who joined the group in 2013, was also among the known names seen in the registration forms. Khan was infamous for appearing in some of ISIS’ propaganda videos, but is now believed to be dead.
However, the major advantage of the leaked documents is the revelation of the identity of other unknown recruits from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, northern Europe, much of the Middle East and North Africa. Their locations are crucial to cracking the organisation as they may help governments in tracking them down to prevent further terror attacks, and also develop better counter-recruitment strategies. The new found data will enable authorities find and prosecute people who pledged allegiance to ISIS, then returned to their home countries.
Among the leaked documents is a file marked “Martyrs”. The content details a brigade of fighters willing and trained to carry out suicide attacks. Some phone numbers on the list believed to be used by the Jihadists themselves, or their family members are still active.
Abu Hamed said he had to leave because he was disillusioned with the leadership of ISIS, which has been taken over by former soldiers from the Iraqi Baath party of Saddam Hussein. According to him, the rules which use to govern the group – to undermine moderate rebels in Syria’s civil war – have totally collapsed and the organisation has lost its religious focus.
When asked if the leaked documents could bring down the terror network, he simply nodded and said, “God willing.”
These are the 23 questions asked of applicants:
- First and last name
- Assumed name
- Mother’s name
- Blood type
- Date of birth/nationality
- Marital status
- Address and place of birth
- Sharia (or religious) level
- Previous job
- Countries visited
- Point of border entry
- Date of entry
- Who recommended you
- Previous jihad experience
- Fighter or suicide attacker
- Field of specialty
- Current working place
- Personal properties left behind
- The level of obedience
- Address for future communication
- Date of death and place
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