Details of 22,000 ISIS supporters leaked to Sky News
THOUSANDS of documents identifying 22,000 supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group in 51 countries were handed over to Sky News by a disillusioned former member of the organisation, the British television channel reported yesterday.
The documents, stored in a memory stick, are forms that the supporters had filled out before they were accepted into ISIS and contain their names, addresses, phone numbers and family contacts, said the broadcaster.
The recruits also had to answer 23 questions, including on blood type, mother's maiden name, "level of sharia (Islamic law) understanding" and previous experience.
"Sky News has informed the authorities about the haul," the broadcaster wrote on its website.
No comment was immediately available from Britain's Interior or Foreign ministries, reported Agence France-Presse.
Some of the names found in the documents were previously unknown to authorities and have roots in northern Europe, United States, Canada, North Africa and the Middle East, said Sky News.
Others have already been identified, such as Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a former rapper from west London who once posted an image of himself on Twitter holding a severed head.
One of the files marked "martyrs" contains the details of a brigade of suicide attackers, according to China's Xinhua news agency.
Richard Barrett, former global terrorism operations director at MI6, Britain's secret intelligence service, wrote on Twitter that the records would shed an "invaluable light" on who had joined ISIS.
The memory stick was said to have been handed over in Turkey to a journalist by a former ISIS man who uses the name Abu Hamed.
The man, who was part of the Syrian Free Army rebel group before joining ISIS, had stolen the stick from the head of ISIS' internal security police, said Sky News.
He explained that he left the group because Islamic rules had collapsed inside it.
He also claimed the group had given up on its headquarters in the Syrian city of Raqqa and was moving into the desert.