Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Best-Laid Plans of Islamic State

"He was speaking openly about the situation, saying that they have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people. And that was before the Brussels attacks, before the Paris attacks."
"They said, 'Would you mind to go back to Germany, because that's what we need at the moment'. And they always said they wanted to have something that is occurring in the same time; they want to have loads of attacks at the same time in England and Germany and France."
"They told me that there aren't many people in Germany who are willing to do the job. They said they had some in the beginning. But one after another, you could say, they chickened out, because they got scared -- cold feet. Same in England."
"My friend asked them about France. And they started laughing. But really serious laughing, with tears in their eyes. They said, 'Don't worry about France'. 'Mafi mushkilah' -- in Arabic, it means 'no problem'."
Harry Sarfo, former Islamic State fighter from Germany
Harry Sarfo explained why he left Islamic State after appearing in propaganda films. Picture: Instagram
"It's the Emni that ensures the internal security inside Dawla [state], and oversees external security by sending abroad people they recruited, or else sending individuals to carry out violent acts, like what happened in Tunisia inside the museum in Tunis, or else the aborted plot in Belgium."
Nicolas Moreau, 32, French citizen, arrested by French police

Both Harry Sarfo, a German national, and Nicolas Moreau, a French national, are languishing in prison. Each trained with Islamic State in Syria and were active members with the jihadists until they became jaded, discovering that the conditions they had envisioned of noble acts of Islamic defence against dastardly infidel plans to destroy Islam were not quite as billed. Now inside a maximum security prison in Oldenburg, Germany, Harry Sarfo has unburdened himself to investigators.

He was, he said, disillusioned by the reality of being among Islamic State jihadists, and witnessing their casual killing and their eagerness to be recognized on film as selfless soldiers of Islam willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the caliphate by slaughtering defenceless prisoners. What particularly irked Mr. Sarfo was the artificiality of the videos produced portraying the atrocities that took place for public consumption.

They were, alas, rehearsed, not at all the spontaneous productions that he assumed them to be. What his naive idea of public relations and advertising represent is under conjecture. He was himself used as an 'extra' during the filming of one of those vile videos, meant to hold the black flag of ISIL aloft in the background so no viewer could mistake what then took place as other than Islamic State's demonic bestiality.

That filming took a number of takes before it was deemed to be sufficiently well documented for public release, meant to impress those who might be future recruits, while repelling those who deplore Islamic State's sadistic atrocities, for fear and loathing are as vital to their cause as is the temptation of new recruits. As Syrian captives were forced to their knees and jihadis shot them, the scene was repeated with fresh sacrifices before the rehearsal was deemed to have achieved its final take.

This, and his personal offence at the cruelty meted out to recruits incapable of keeping up with their mentors, consolidated his conclusion that this was a liaison not meant for him, that his future lay elsewhere. He managed to escape, a journey that took weeks before he was able to cross into Turkey and from there fly to Germany where at Bremen Airport he was arrested, and made his voluntary confession. In three years he will be released, terrorism charges behind him.

But what he revealed was useful to his interviewers, matching and supporting intelligence gathered through other sources. He described ISIL operatives, part of an intelligence unit of Islamic State called in Arabic the Emni; a patchwork of internal police force and external operations branch whose purpose is to export terror internationally. There are thousands of pages of French, Belgian, German and Austrian intelligence and interrogation documents revealing details.

The documents reveal a multi-level secret service under the command of the senior Syrian operative and propaganda chief, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani; not so secret any longer. A sub-tier of lieutenants reporting to Adnani is empowered to plan attacks in various parts of the world which includes a "secret service for European affairs", a "secret service for Asian affairs", and a "secret service for Arab affairs", advised Mr. Sarfo

"Hundreds of operatives" have returned to the European Union, along with "hundreds more in Turkey alone", confided a senior American intelligence official and a senior U.S. defence official, both speaking on condition of anonymity. "Many of them have returned, hundreds, definitely", agreed Mr. Sarfo. One region of the world appears not to have fit the pattern of Europe, and that, stated Mr. Sarfo, is North America, according to what he was told by his Islamic State contacts.

"They know it's hard for them to get Americans into America", once they have been known to have journeyed to Syria, he explained. "For America and Canada, it's much easier for them to get them over the social network, because they say the Americans are dumb -- they have open gun policies. They say we can radicalize them easily, and if they have no prior record, they can buy guns, so we don't need to have no contact man who has to provide guns for them."

Imagine that!

Labels: , , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Follow @rheytah Tweet