ISIS has suffered an apparent insider data breach, allowing security agencies fighting the terrorist group to gather highly useful information.
The personal information of 22,000 jihadist recruits has allegedly been leaked on a USB drive from a former member who became disillusioned with ISIS practices. The personal data of fighters includes the names, phone numbers, addresses, birthplaces, education and sponsors of the organisation dating back to 2013. All of the information was apparently collected from forms that were filled out by the recruits during the process of signing up for the group.
The information has been obtained in part by British television network Sky News, a Syrian opposition newspaper and German intelligence officials.
ISIS volunteers from 51 countries that include the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany were identified on the list. Roughly 700 Brits have joined ISIS.
The leaked data could be the way to track members of the movement and prevent more recruits from joining. “From a macro intelligence perspective, this type of information is a treasure trove for intelligence analysts,” said Matthew Levitt, counter-terrorism analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Thomas de Maizière, German interior minister, said the information would help shed light on “the underlying structures of this terrorist organisation”.