ISIS Hiding Members’ Shadowy Criminal Pasts: Leaked Files

Documents obtained by Zaman al-Wasl show many of ISIS’ members joined the hardline group soon after being released from prison

The Islamic State group has attempted to gloss over the criminal records of its followers in an effort to paint members as immaculate and virtuous jihadists, leaked data shows.

Jihadists were demanded by the group’s border control directorate to acknowledge any criminal record when completing their registration.

Leaked data obtained by Zaman al-Wasl months ago classified three types of jihadists in regards to their criminal record.

The first group consisted of applicants that had been sentenced for looting, robbery and petty crimes. The second group contained candidates who had been sentenced for their jihadist backgrounds, while the third group comprised those who joined ISIS on recommendation from jihadists who remained in prison.

The documents show that many of ISIS’ members had joined the hardline group as soon as they were released from incarceration, like Abu Abdul Karim al-Titwani who joined 50 days after his release from prison in Morocco.

The leaked files show that a number of other members, including those listed below, also shared a criminal history:

– Abou Hisham al-Almani (German) spent two years in prison due to criminal activity and fighting.

– Abou Abdul Rahaman al-Irani (Iranian) joined the group in 2013 after spending time incarcerated in a Pakistani prison. Reason for imprisonment was not provided.

– Abou Saad al-Sharqawi (Saudi) was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Recruiter was Abou Nofa al-Jazrawi, a Syrian national in charge of recruiting indigenous fighters in Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital.

– Abou Yousef al-Maghribi and Aby al-Bara al-Maghribi (Moroccan) joined ISIS in February 2014 after having both spent time in prison.

– Abou Omar al-Feranci (French) spent five years in prison on charges of theft.

– Abou Abdulla al-Ozbaki (Uzbek) was sentenced several times on charges of stealing cars.

– Abou Huthaifa al-Masri (Egyptian) spent one year in prison. Reason was omitted in the entry form.

– Abou Noura (Saudi) spent five months in prison inside Syria.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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