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  1. #1
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    Isis Leaked Files Reveal Names of British Fighters & 22k Others

    Eu, isis enablers extraordinare...

    Leaked Isis files appear to reveal names of previously unknown British fighters

    Shiv Malik Thursday 10 March 2016 18.34 EST Last modified on Thursday 17March 2016 08.23 EDT

    Personnel files from Isis appear to reveal the names of a number of previously unknown British foreign fighters who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamist terror group.

    Isis document leak reportedly reveals identities of 22,000 recruits

    Fourteen Isis recruitment forms which set out the names, dates of birth, home towns and recruiter details, were passed to the Guardian from German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. While half of the names appear to be known to the public, a number of them, if genuine, seem to be new additions to the roster of hundreds of British fighters who are understood to have travelled to the Middle East to join the organisation in Iraq and Syria.

    One foreign fighter listed in the documents alongside a UK mobile number is believed to have lived in Arsenal, North London. The Guardian has as yet been unable to make contact with the relatives of another as yet unknown young Italian whose last known address was a short distance away in Finsbury Park, London.

    At least half of the names in the personnel forms explicitly dealing with British foreign fighters are well known to the public. They include the names of all but one of a group of six jihadis from Portsmouth who came to be known as the Pompey lads.

    The toll of extremism: 50 Britons killed fighting for Syria and Iraq militants

    Sometimes self-described as the “Bangladeshi Bad Boys”, the most infamous figure among them was Ifthekar Jaman, who gained notoriety after giving an interview to BBC’s Newsnight in November 2013 in which he told reporter Richard Watson, “I am Isis. This is the group I am with. We are trying to establish the law of God, the law of Allah”. He was subsequently killed in fighting a month later and became a poster child for UK radicals.

    Jaman’s form lists his date of entry into Syria as 9 May 2013. Privately educated, Jaman managed to inspire five friends from Portsmouth to travel to the war-torn country who were all captured on camera as they walked through Gatwick airport in October 2013.

    One of those five was his cousin Asad Uzzaman, whose form was also in the cache. The Guardian managed to confirm that a UK mobile number on Uzzaman’s form belongs to a family member. The number was answered by a young woman who confirmed Uzzaman’s date of birth. He was understood to have been killed during the summer of last year. The only one of the Portsmouth group who is thought to still be alive is Mashudur Choudhury, who is serving a four-year prison term after returning to the UK. His details also appeared to be among the forms.

    Analysis Where have the Isis documents come from?

    Information on Islamic State fighters has been touted in Middle East for months, offered to journalists for large sums

    Some biographical details in the forms are not consistent with known information. Ruhul Amin, a Scottish jihadi who appeared in a recruitment video for Isis, was from Aberdeen although the form lists his place of residence as Cardiff. His fellow fighter, Reyaad Khan, was from Cardiff; both were killed in a drone strike launched by the RAF in September. It was the first publicly admitted drone attack which explicitly targeted UK citizens.

    Another British citizen in the documents is Raphael Hostey, 23, from Manchester, who is sometimes known online as “al-Britani Afro”. He left his wife and child to travel to Syria in 2013 accompanied by two fellow students of Liverpool John Moores University, Mohammed Javeed and Khalil Raoufi.

    A 2015 study by global security firm the Soufan group found that Isis had managed to gain between 27,000 and 31,000 foreign recruits from more than 86 countries.
    Last edited by artist; 04-18-2016 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    ISIS UnCovered
    Apr 18 2016, 7:40 am ET

    The ISIS Files: What Leaked Documents Reveal About Terror Recruits

    by Richard Engel, Marc Smith and Tracy Connor

    Apparent ISIS Recruitment Forms Give Rare Look Inside Terror Operation 2:39

    A trove of ISIS personnel records obtained by NBC News has now been analyzed by experts at West Point, who say it's the largest and "most significant" document cache of its kind, providing new insight into the terror group's grand ambitions and diverse recruits.
    The files reveal that the jihadists who joined the Islamic State in 2013 and 2014 were largely uninterested in suicide missions, better educated than expected and, to the alarm of those trying to stop the export of terror, very well-traveled.

    RELATED: How we obtained the secret personnel files

    NBC News received the dossiers from a Syrian man who said he stole the information, stored on a flash drive, from a senior ISIS commander. Over the last month, NBC News has worked with the Combating Terrorism Center at the elite military academy to transform them into a database of more than 4,000 foreign fighters from 71 countries.

    Watch 'NBC Nightly News' on Monday for more on the ISIS Files
    The analysts believe the documents, which were also given to a British media outlet, are genuine and the details in them revelatory. They show the bureaucracy behind ISIS' enlistment operation and a surprisingly varied fighting force captivated by the promise of a global Muslim caliphate.
    "The largest takeaway from these documents is the massive diversity of the population," Brian Dodwell, deputy director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, told NBC News.

    "We are talking an average age of around 26, 27 years old but we're talking about everywhere from teenagers up until men in their 60s," Dodwell added. "We're talking about very diverse backgrounds from an education perspective — individuals who list their education as none up to those who listed their educations as Ph.D.s, masters degrees, MBAs … Everything from laborers to doctors and lawyers."

    Read the Combating Terrorism Center report on the ISIS files

    The papers, written in Arabic and fully translated by NBC and West Point for the first time, provide a snapshot of each fighter — from nom de guerre and blood type to travel history and contact numbers for next of kin.

    Among the key findings:
    Most don't want to be martyrs

    Each candidate was asked if he wanted to be a regular fighter or a suicide bomber or suicide fighter, but only 12 percent ticked the box for martyrdom.

    That ratio stands in stark contrast to another set of foreign fighters, those who joined Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, more than half of whom volunteered to blow themselves up, according to West Point. And analysts say the disparity reflects how ISIS marketed itself to the world and the kind of future it envisioned.

    "While they do need some suicide bombers, if all of their troops selected into the suicide category who would be left to fill that conventional army? Who would be left to serve as the Sharia officials, the police or the administrative?" Dodwell said.

    "They're selling this narrative of victory and sustaining... Many of these individuals it would seem are buying into that message and are going into there to live — not die."

    They cover the generation gap

    Nearly two-thirds of the enlistees were in the 21-30 age group, but the other ends of the spectrum were also well-represented. Some 40 recruits were under age 15 and about 400 were under 21. Almost a quarter fell between ages 31 and 40. About 4 percent were between 41 and 50 and there were even 42 men over the age of 50.

    The oldest person in the database was nearly 70, a married father of five from Kyrgystan who wanted to be a fighter and not a suicide volunteer.

    Many have families

    While six out of 10 fighters were single, 30 percent reported being married — and they had more 2,000 children between them. The notes on some of the applications show that some showed up with hopes of bringing their families along later if they could get the money needed for travel.

    The Caliphate called to them

    The dates on the records give a sense of what might have propelled some these men to join ISIS. One peak came in November 2013, a few months after the militants split off from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and rebranded themselves as the Islamic State or ISIS.

    But the biggest recruitment period was July 2014, following some of ISIS' most significant territorial seizures and the announcement that it was establishing a caliphate with dominion over the world's Muslims.
    They were schooled

    "They are perhaps more educated than we would expect," Dodwell said.

    A third went to high school and a quarter had a college education; only 17 percent said they stopped their schooling after elementary or middle school. That level of education was higher than the average for many of the countries the men called home.

    Who Is ISIS Trying to Reach With Beheading Videos? 0:42

    While the stats might suggest that the fighters had prospects in their homeland, the West Point experts noted that many of them had more menial jobs than their education might suggest — a possible source of frustration that could have played into their decision to join up.
    The group was less educated on Islam than might be predicted. Seventy percent said they had only a basic understanding of sharia. And in an unexpected turn, those with a deeper understanding of Islamic law were actually less likely to choose to be suicide bombers or fighters, despite the religious justification for suicide attacks.

    They're jacks of all trades

    The applicants came from all job sectors. Listed occupations included beekeeper, perfume salesman, airline steward, Saudi intelligence worker, soldier in the Tunisian army. One reported he was in "counter-narcotics," another that he was a hashish dealer. "May God forgive him and us!" that file added. There was someone who worked at a Starbucks in London, and another who boasted of being a mixed-martial arts trainer with gold medals to his name.
    Overall, though, the fighters were more likely to have worked in low-skilled jobs. Only 104 had high-skilled or white-collar positions. There were 700 laborers, roughly 10 times the number of teachers, IT employees, or those in the military or police. But the vast majority were employed before they joined: Only 255 said they were jobless. Another big group had yet to enter the labor force: 656 students.

    They span the globe

    The three biggest feeder countries were Saudia Arabia (797 fighters), Tunisia (640) and Morocco (260), although Tunisia has the highest per capita rate. But they came from all corners of the world — from China (167) to Iceland (1) and Australia (13) to Trinidad and Tobago (2).

    About 10 percent hailed from Western nations, including the United Kingdom (57) and the United States (14). In Europe, France (12 and Germany (80) had the highest numbers.

    The international nature of the group is cause for concern, giving a glimpse of the ease with which ISIS members might be able to move around and blend in across the globe. Fifty-eight cited the U.S. as a country they had visited.

    "They were from all over the world and the individuals had traveled all over the world," Dodwell said. "I wouldn't say a majority of them, but a good number of them were heavily traveled. One individual said he had been to 38 countries around the world. So some of them certainly have international experience and significant experience moving throughout the region and throughout the world."

    ISIS Using Social Media and Violence to Recruit 2:00

    Each record contained a field where the person processing the paperwork could make notes. The miscellaneous entries were both haphazard and telling. They detailed issues with forged or lost passports, criminal records, health problems, and special family situations.

    "Important, he has expertise in chemistry," one notation said. Another: "He has experience in making explosives. He refused to provide his mother's name out of concern for her safety."

    The dossiers contain the names of those supposedly vouching for the recruits, and it's clear connections were important.

    "His brother executed the metro operations in Madrid," one note said, apparently referring to the 2004 commuter train bombings by an Al Qaeda cell that killed 191 people. A different applicant "tried to join the State through Abu-Ayman al Iraqi [a top ISIS commander killed in 2014] but they refused for lack of recommendation," the file said.
    Problems with vision or hearing were duly recorded, along with other medical conditions. "His right leg is amputated," one file said. "He wears a prosthetic."

    There were contact numbers for family members and also instructions on whether they were to be contacted. One Spanish fighter left this directive: "He does not want anyone to know."

    A college student from Libya who volunteered to be an inghimasi, a type of fighter who plans to die on the battlefield, left a message for those at home: "Tell my mother and my father to forgive me."

    Apr 18 2016, 8:09 am ET

    Meet the ISIS Defector Who Handed Over Stolen Personnel Files

    by Richard Engel and Ammar Cheikh Omar

    We've become accustomed to seeing leaked documents, stolen from governments and corporations but we never expected to get our hands on the raw intelligence treasure trove known as "The ISIS Files." The man who gave us the files was hardly a classic whistleblower.

    By his own account, the man, who calls himself "Abu Mohammed," is an accomplice to murder and a thief. He claims to be an ISIS defector and says that he stole a memory stick from ISIS, so he'd have something to trade and that he had no idea what was on the memory drive when he stole it, only that it was valuable.

    To help us understand the files, experts from the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point extensively reviewed them. Their conclusion was that the files are genuine, and collectively represent the biggest database on ISIS foreign fighters outside of government hands. An official at the Combating Terrorism Center said that they compared the documents with another collection of similar forms which the Department of Defense obtained from another source.

    "This comparison found that approximately 98 percent of the NBC documents could be corroborated," said Brian Dodwell, the deputy director of the CTC.

    Related: Leaked ISIS Personnel Files Paint Picture of Group's Recruits

    The leaked files include thousands of entry forms which appear to have been filled out by foreign recruits upon arriving in ISIS territory in Syria. The entry forms list personal details about the fighters, including their full names, emergency contacts, nationalities, countries of residency, countries visited, special skills and, critically the name of the person who vouched for each fighter.

    The files include the details of more than 4,000 men who entered Syria from Turkey in 2013 and 2014.

    NBC News can't verify the story Abu Mohammed told us about how he stole the documents, only that that this is how he claims he obtained them.

    Abu Mohammed, a burly man in his mid 30s, or perhaps early 40s, covered his face with a scarf and asked for his voice to be disguised. He then described, on camera, how he joined the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad five years ago. Like many protesters, he said, he was arrested by Syrian officials and released after paying a bribe.

    After that, he says, he took up arms, joining one of a loose network of rebel factions collectively known as the Free Syrian Army. As protests gave way to a civil war, Abu Mohammed said he switched between several different armed groups. He said he eventually joined the Nusra front, a radical Islamist faction linked to al-Qaeda but which has often fought alongside more moderate rebel groups.

    He says he was in the city of Raqqa when ISIS took over. Although ISIS is also a radical Islamist group, it does not tolerate rivals, even other jihadists. Abu Mohammed said he was jailed by ISIS and forced to join their ranks. He says his role was to hunt down other rebels like him. He says at times, he was helping ISIS find his old friends.
    "Any wanted person, we would go and get him. I knew some people that were wanted, and their end was slaughter," Abu Mohammed said.

    A man who claims to be a disillusioned ISIS fighter who recently defected meets with NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel near Turkey's border with Syria on March 9, 2016. NBC News

    Abu Mohammed says he eventually earned the trust of ISIS officials and assigned to ISIS's internal intelligence division known as the Amniaat.

    A senior U.S. official told NBC NEWS the Amniaat division is also responsible for "external attacks," outside ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria.

    Abu Mohammed says that, while he never truly supported the ISIS ideology, his resentment grew even stronger over time.

    He said the group's systematic rape and enslavement of Yazidi women had a strong impact on him. Yazidis are members of a small religious group who mostly live in Northern Iraq. ISIS claims Yazidis are devil worshipers and has bragged about turning Yazidi women into slaves and concubines for the fighters who killed their husbands.
    "I saw women raped. I saw them butchering children in front of their mothers ... they rape them in turns, one would pass her to the next guy and so on," Abu Mohammed said.

    Related: Yazidi Women Tell of Rape and Enslavement at Hands of ISIS

    Abu Mohammed said he decided to become a deserter, but before he snuck out of Syria, he says he stole a flash drive from the office of one of ISIS's senior leaders. He didn't exactly know what was on the drive.

    Just that it was top secret. He thought having something of value from ISIS would be useful for him to trade or sell as he tried to set up a new life in Turkey or elsewhere. He said he also wanted to do as much harm to ISIS as he could.

    "Any wanted person, we would go and get him. I knew some people that were wanted, and their end was slaughter" "I took the flash drive and gave it to my wife. I asked her to go to Turkey."

    Abu Mohammed said his wife wrapped the little flash drive in plastic and hid it inside their baby's diaper. He said he didn't think ISIS guards at checkpoints would search a baby's diaper, fearing it might be soiled and impact their ability to pray. They couldn't pray as long as they were unclean.

    "I knew where they would search and where they wouldn't search," he said. To cover his tracks, Abu Mohammed says, he showed up for work for several more days after his wife left.

    "As soon as it went missing, they turned the offices upside down, they investigated the people in charge," he said. To keep the ruse going, Abu Mohammed says, he participated in the beating of several people ISIS suspected of stealing the flash drive with the documents.

    Abu Mohammed eventually escaped to Turkey which is where we met and interviewed him. We asked him why he decided to have the documents made public, which was bound to make him an even bigger target for ISIS retaliation.

    "The goal was to hurt ISIS," he said. "My goal was to hurt them."

    Richard Engel

    How ISIS mastered Internet recruitment 6:20

    The cache included more than 400 exit forms for members who were leaving ISIS territory — the majority were allowed to take a leave of absence for medical treatment, mainly in Turkey, while others were permitted to take care of family issues or bring their families back. But those weren't the only reasons. Two forms contained the word "LIED" in red letters with the ominous warning that the person would be arrested if they returned. In some other cases, ideological differences were noted.

    To validate the documents, the West Point center cross-referenced them against a repository of ISIS records maintained by the Defense Department and corroborated about 98 percent.

    Dodwell said that while much of the material confirmed the center's understanding of who joins ISIS and why, the "massive amount of diversity" was the biggest eye-opener and poses a challenge for those researching how to counter radical extremism at the root level.

    "What it shows us is that it's very difficult to determine who exactly these types of programs should be targeted towards because they come from all walks of life," he said.
    Last edited by artist; 04-18-2016 at 07:08 PM.

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