The current ISIS leader provided U.S. forces leading strikes on al-Qaida with information, according to newly released documents.
The Telegraph reports that documents released on Thursday indicate that ISIS leader Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla provided information following his 2008 arrest on 68 al-Qaida fighters as well as the structure of al-Qaida in Mosul, according to the outlet.
Three Tactical Interrogation Reports released by West Point-based think tank Combating Terrorism Center allege al-Mawla, who at the time was an al-Qaida judge, identified leading figures behind assassinations, kidnappings, and the production of improved explosive devices that were used to kill coalition forces.
During three interrogation sessions, he identified 68 jihadists and provided their physical descriptions, mobile phone numbers, and roles in the organization. Some individuals were later arrested and some killed by U.S. troops.
One of the jihadists that he identified was Moroccan national Abu Jasim Abu Qaswarah, who was thought to be second-in-command of al-Qaida in Iraq at the time. U.S. forces killed him eight months after al-Mawla named him as a member of the terrorist group.
According to the documents, al-Mawla allegedly admitted knowledge of executions and assassinations carried out by the group starting to call itself Islamic State in Iraq.
The documents, which are heavily redacted, detail the organizational structure of al-Qaida in Iraq and the emerging Islamic State all based on al-Mawla’s information. The reports indicate he provided details on “all key Amir positions” and oversaw the group’s media cell.
In a webinar hosted by the CTC Craig Whiteside, Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, said al-Mawla “doesn’t seem to have much in the way of probity ... he was ratting out so many of his colleagues.”
Organizational psychologist Gina Ligon told The Telegraph that the documents suggest al-Mawla held grudges easily. Ligon said he likely viewed people as “expendable resources that he could discard [and no more than] cogs in a greater machine.”
She said he gave them up because “they were key to his release.”
“This is a distant leader who will callously give people up when they are no longer of use to him,” she said.
He was released in 2009. According to The Telegraph, he only became notable this year when he took over the leadership of ISIS after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in October of last year.
He is known by ISIS as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi and is believed to be located in the desert region of eastern Syria and western Iraq.
Haroro Ingram, a senior research fellow at George Washington University's Program on Extremism, said the documents will “really shake trust” in al-Mawla's leadership of ISIS.
"They show he can't be trusted,” Ingram said.
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