Disgruntled IS defector dumps full details of tens of thousands of jihadis


#1

[Read the post]


#2

22,000 jihadi fighters? Dayum, Hamed.


#3

Wow, it’s sounds like an intel bonanza


#4

The most important back doors are the ones pissed off people walk out of.


#5

Don’t go away all angry and shit.


#6

I wonder why he gave the intel to Sky news?
Surely they will have to give it to the CIA.
It would have been so much more useful to use that info before the press announced it.


#7

And how do we know the full list of who got that info before the press announced it?


#8

Would you present yourself to the CIA as a defecting ISIS fighter?

Even turning this over to a reporter, I’d fear being disappeared, and getting the reporter waterboarded for good measure.


#9

Just read an interesting paper about bureaucracy and terrorists (PDF from Princeton.edu):

“Bureaucracy and Control in Terrorist Organizations”. An early quote:

One surprising fact about terrorist organizations is the frequency with which standard bureaucratic mechanisms—organization charts, expense reports, and the like—emerge as the solution to the challenge of balancing security and control. Groups as diverse as the Red Brigades...and al-Qa’ida in Iraq generate organizational minutiae and paperwork that, were it not for their violent subject matter, could have come from any traditional organization. Using relatively simple formal models to carefully analyze the tasks terrorist organizations must achieve in light of their unusual operational environment can help us understand this puzzling pattern. In the context of these models, bureaucracy serve to communicate critical facts up and down the chain of command thereby reducing agency losses. Viewing expense reports and the like as solely providing information to leaders is a mistake. Reporting requirements imposed by leaders in any organization provide subordinates with valuable information about their superiors’ priorities and preferences.

Nope. And I’m surprised that Abu Hamed OR Stuart Ramsay would be okay with attaching their names to the Sky story.


#10

In a few months, we’ll no doubt hear about a class-action lawsuit from those jihadis who had their personal details leaked. This might be the way to defeat ISIS: Tie them down with litigation!

They’ll be so busy rushing to make depositions and meeting filing deadlines, they simply won’t have time to behead infidels, destroy international heritage sites, nor hurl acid into the faces of female school children.


#11

Sure. If you’re stupid and enjoy a nice waterboarding.


#12

Despite terrorists’ addiction to chaos, they’re still authoritarians at heart and the leadership knows it. They exploit their followers weak-willed tendencies by using standard HR Culture control techniques: paperwork, peer reviews, manager ratings, mandatory team building exercises, etc.

Standard nation-state militaries do the same thing, but they’re more honest about the discipline and play down the "People’s Hero"™ and death cult aspects.


#13

They’re pretty much authoritarian by definition - “Follow our way or die”


#14

A similar (or identical?) trove was given to the BKA (a federal police organisation in Germany), as reported by SZ (NY Times article).

As the German agencies are very happy to share everything with the US counterparts it’s likely that the CIA already owns a copy.


#15

All I can think to ask, is if the file was written plaintext on the drive, or if it was encrypted and then broken? If unencrypted, those guys deserve what they get.


#16

Being opposed to ISIS is not the same as being supportive of the US. He may have intended for Putin/Iran/others to get that information.


#17

Not sure I entirely agree with the bit I emphasized above. You’ll notice in the paper I linked above that sometimes terrorist group leaders will sometimes have group members who were accepted/hired/sought because of their willingness to be violent, and at times, those ultra-violent underlings will disagree with a target or action because it’s not violent enough and they’ll take matters into their own hands. From the text:

We see a consistent focus on how to achieve the appropriate use of violence when the rank and file often clamor for more violence than is useful from the leader’s perspective or seek to enrich themselves in the course of their duties. Groups repeatedly struggle with the problem of maintaining situational awareness while staying covert, so that members understand which actions will support the political goal, and which will be counterproductive. Finally, there is regular concern with balancing the need to control operational elements with the need to evade government attention and limit the consequences of any compromise.
That is to say that while I agree and expect that terrorist leaders are authoritarians at heart, I don't agree that their followers are, as a whole, weak-willed simpletons needing direction from their masters. If anything, there's a distinct tension to be had between terrorist leaders and their followers since either follower or leader could get everyone caught and/or killed.

#18

Could we get a war of ISIS with lawyers?

One suicide bomber out, one lawyer out. After a while, the population of both could get quite depleted and the rest of the world wins.


#19

Well, that’s how they got Al Capone. I’m reasonably confident that ISIS might be a little lax on their tax returns.


#20

Or congressmen?