03/11/2016, 12.18
SYRIA - IRAQ
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Islamic state "repentant" steals a file with the names of 22 thousand jihadists

Western governments believe the document is authentic and boosts "knowledge of the organization's structures". It will help investigators to trace the movements of militants and the judiciary to prosecute those returning to their country of origin. List includes names of fighters from many European countries.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The files containing the names of thousands of militiamen and fighters recruited by the Islamic State (IS) are believed to be authentic, according to the German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.  He says this mass of information can help investigators to investigate and track the movement of jihadist fighters and prevent future recruitment by the Islamic extremist movement.

The documents obtained by German and British intelligence and made available by the media close to the opposition Syrian contains the names of IS militiamen from at least 40 nations. The list is believed to contain about 22 thousand names, but many of these are repeated several times. It would also include names, nationality, address, phone number and qualifications of each jihad fighter.

The first to publish the files (in Arabic) was the web site Zaman Al-Wasl, based in Qatar and close to the Syrian opposition fighting President Bashar al-Assad. Two of the names in the list - Kerim Marc B and Abdelkarim B - belong to jihadist currently in prison in Germany for terrorism. The two had appeared in the past in IS propaganda videos.

The list also includes the names of Dutch citizens and 16 Britons, including two known personalities (Junaid Hussain and Khan Reyaad) who died during the coalition air raids in Syria.

The files also indicate the wishes of the fighters: some want to be "suicide bombers", others say they want to be "martyrs"; one aims for suicide missions, but in the notes, IS leaders explain that some "have night vision problems" or do not know how to drive "car with manual transmission."

The German Minister says the list helps to improve "the knowledge of the terrorist organization structures" and help "discourage" other young people from "joining a criminal organization."

The file was stolen by a "repentant", identified as Abu Hamed, an IS fighter who said on closer contact with the group and its leaders was disappointed and that's why he wanted to steal the document from the group's internal security.

Some experts say the material shows, on the one hand, the manic bureaucracy within the movement and, on the other hand, the great need for money and financial resources.

Analysts and experts agree that, if proven in the face of any doubt that remains, the list will have an enormous importance for strategic intelligence and governments that are fighting against the Islamic state. The data dates to 2013 and early 2014, so it is not up to date. However, the list is still of enormous significance and are an essential source of verification for the governments in the fight against terrorism and jihadist recruitment.

Finally, the courts of the various countries can use these lists to try those returning home after having fought in the terrorist group.

 

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