• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Leaked Isis files on German jihadists likely genuine: police
Photo: Syriadeeply.org/S/dpa

Leaked Isis files on German jihadists likely genuine: police

AFP · 10 Mar 2016, 16:38

Published: 10 Mar 2016 16:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Mar 2016 16:38 GMT+01:00

German federal police spokesman Markus Koths said there was "a very high probability" that documents reported by German media as identifying German jihadists were genuine.

 "The Federal Criminal Office has knowledge of this type of document of the so-called Islamic State," said police spokesman Markus Koths, referring to Isis registration forms reported on by Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR.

"We assume that there is a very high probability that they are genuine documents," Koths said in a short statement. "We are therefore taking them into account as part of our law enforcement and security measures."

Koths declined to give details about how many documents his office has access to or their contents, and stressed that he was not commenting on the authenticity of specific documents obtained by German or other media.

The information, which could help track down current and former Isis jihadists, was included in forms which new recruits had to fill out, German and British media reported.

British broadcaster Sky News said it had shared with British security services documents with the identities of some 22,000 Isis group members. 

The documents contain details like names, dates of birth and phone numbers for people from 51 countries including from Britain, northern Europe, the Middle East, north Africa, the United States and Canada.

While Britain's interior ministry said it would not comment on national security matters in line with normal policy, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said the government would "look at how this information can be used in the fight against Daesh," another term for Isis.

"If it can, then we would welcome that," she said, adding that the government had not been aware of the story before it was reported by Sky.

Inconsistencies?

The developments follow German media reports earlier this week about a questionnaire which new Isis recruits from Germany had to fill in.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said they would help "a better understanding of the structures" of Isis and pave the way for "faster, clearer investigations and higher prison sentences".

Experts said the documents would be valuable if authentic, although they pointed out mistakes and uncharacteristic language in the forms.

Richard Barrett, formerly a senior figure in Britain's MI6 overseas intelligence service, said the leak would be "an absolute gold mine of information of enormous significance and interest".

But Charlie Winter, a researcher at Georgia State University, said: "There would be big alarm bells for me, because when I've seen inconsistencies like that in the past they've been on really shoddily-made forgeries."

The Arabic name for "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," Isis's previous nomenclature, is written in two different ways, including one that is not consistent with past practice.

Files documenting the deaths of Isis militants use the words "date of killing" instead of the typical jihadist term "martyrdom."

Story continues below…

Romain Caillet, an independent jihadism expert, also noted that some documents feature a second, circular logo not previously used on Isis files.

Syrian opposition news website Zaman al-Wasl said there were thousands of repetitions in the leaked documents and the names of only 1,700 people could be identified in the 22,000 documents.

Detailed list of questions

Sky reported that a disillusioned former member had handed over the documents on a memory stick that had been stolen from the head of the group's internal security police.

Questions on the documents include asking recruits their blood type, mother's maiden name, "level of sharia understanding" and previous experience, it said.

The alleged leak comes with Western security services on high alert against the possibility of fresh jihadist massacre following the Paris attacks spree last November.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Travellers stuck after dozy train driver forgets Freiburg
Photo: DPA

It's one thing to miss a train - it's another when the train misses you.

Berlin airport employee admits taking €150,000 bribe
Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: DPA

The German capital's long-delayed international airport has been haunted by claims of corruption and incompetency.

Teachers' union: school burqa bans only isolate girls more
Women wearing niqabs. Photo: DPA.

A German trade union for teachers has warned of the consequences of banning certain religious attire in schools after a teen this week was told she could not wear a face veil to school.

Bundesliga
Bayern ban big bags and bottles for Bundesliga opener
Photo: DPA

Bayern Munich have tightened security measures at their stadium, banning spectators from carrying big bags and bottles, ahead of Friday's home match - the first of the new German league season.

Drugstore chain DM starts selling pepper spray
Photo: DPA

One of Germany's largest drug stores has started selling pepper spray due to "increased requests" from customers.

AfD accused of using neo-Nazi symbols on campaign car
Photo: Facebook of NO LEGIDA.

The Leipzig branch of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has come under fire for seemingly using Nazi symbols on a campaign car.

Merkel wants migrant return deals with N. African states
Migrants in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Tuesday on the EU and North African countries to do deals modelled on a controversial agreement with Turkey to stem migrant flows to Europe.

VW reaches supplier deal to resume production
Photo: DPA

German car giant Volkswagen said on Tuesday it has reached a deal with suppliers to begin deliveries again after a stoppage that forced the group to halt production at several plants.

Merkel calls for 'loyalty' from Turkish-Germans
Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: EPA.

Those who have lived in Germany for many years should actively show a "high level of loyalty", the Chancellor said.

Govt paper mulls bringing back army conscription
Photo: DPA

In its new concept paper on civil defence, the federal government discusses the concept of conscription, five years after it was abolished.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,635
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd