Middle East News

Personal Details of Thousands of Islamic State Recruits Revealed

Thousands of documents containing details of Islamic State recruits have been obtained by Syrian news website Zaman al-Wasl, Sky News and German intelligence services.

Thousands of documents containing the personal details of Islamic State recruits have been obtained by German intelligence services, Syrian news website Zaman al-Wasl, and Sky News.

The existence of the documents was revealed on Monday by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters WDR and NDR. Zaman al-Wasl began publishing samples of the information it holds on Tuesday. Sky News began to release its information on Wednesday.

German interior minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed the documents were real. He said the materials help clarify “the underlying structures of this terrorist organisation.”

The documents are thought to be from border crossings into Syria and appear to have been collected at the end of 2013, The Guardian reports.

Sky News

Sky News says it holds more than 22,000 documents, described as a “gold mine” for intelligence services. The documents show Islamic State recruits’ addresses, phone numbers and family contacts, and list people from at least 51 countries.

The documents were handed to Sky News on a USB thumb drive during a meeting with a man who called himself Abu Hamed at a secret location in Turkey.

An alleged former member of the opposition Free Syrian Army, Hamed joined IS but later became disillusioned. He said that Islamic State has been taken over by soldiers from Iraq’s Baath party, once led by Saddam Hussein, Sky News reports.

The documents look like enrollment forms. They list of 23 types of information about recruits, including name, telephone number, blood type, place of birth, areas of expertise, countries travelled through, who recommended them, as well as information about relatives.

Richard Barrett, former global terrorism operations director at the U.K.’s Secret Intelligence Service, described the leak as a “fantastic coup.”

“It will be an absolute gold mine of information of enormous significance and interest to very many people, particularly the security and intelligence services,” Barrett said.

Abu Hasayn Al Britani

According to Sky News, one of the forms contains the details of Junaid Hussain, a Briton married to Sally-Anne Jones, the former punk rock group member known as the White Widow.

Hussain’s form reveals his fighter name – Abu Hasayn Al Britani, his mother’s maiden name, his date of birth, the fact that he has a high school education and was previously an “electronics specialist.”

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in September that Hussain had been killed in an RAF drone strike.

Sky News has said it has passed the documents on to U.K. security services.

Zaman al-Wasl

Pro-opposition Syrian news website Zaman al-Wasl is publishing the documents it holds, and has begun the process of analysing the data.

The documents it is releasing are written in Arabic and are stamped with logos used by Islamic State. Zaman al-Wasl has published the details of 1,736 fighters from 40 countries: a quarter were Saudis and the rest mainly Tunisian, Moroccan and Egyptian.

The data dump allegedly contains details of 16 British fighters, four from the U.S. and six from Canada, as well as others from France and Germany.


(Image: Sky News)


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