German media is going through 22,000 pages of documents, according to a report
CNN analyst says French authorities knew trio had joined ISIS
Documents have not been confirmed by CNN but they appear to be questions asked by ISIS of people at borders
The names of three Paris attackers are found among 22,000 purported ISIS documents that surfaced this week, German public broadcasters reported Friday.
The trove of documents includes mentions of Samy Amimour, Ismael Omar Mostefai and Foued Mohamed Aggad, regional broadcasters NDR, WDR and BR reported, according to the Tagesshau news service.
Amimour and his co-conspirators attacked the Bataclan theatre on November 13, killing 89 of the people who died in the series of terror attacks that night in Paris.
The trio died in the attacks.
It’s important to note that French authorities already knew the Bataclan trio had joined ISIS well before the Paris attacks, so the discovery of their names in the ISIS files would not have prevented the attack, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
French authorities knew Amimour, Mostefai and Aggad were with ISIS in Syria. It has not been established how and when the trio returned to France.
According to French police documents obtained by CNN, Mostefai and Amimour entered Turkey together on their way to Syria on September 6, 2013. Aggad traveled to Syria separately with a group from Strasbourg in December 2013, according to court documents cited by French newspaper Le Monde.
The others in Aggad’s travel group were arrested on their return to France in 2014 but Aggad elected to stay. His picture was found by French investigators in one of their cell phones in which he was smiling and wearing an ISIS head band, the newspaper reported.
Tagesshau said the ISIS documents showed the three entered into ISIS-controlled territory between 2013 and 2014. The report didn’t disclose how the broadcasters obtained the documents.
Workers at the broadcasters are still going through the 22,000 pages, Tagesshau said.
Other reports on leaked documents
Germany’s intelligence agency, a Syrian newspaper and other news organizations, including Britain’s Sky News, obtained batches of leaked ISIS documents, which CNN could not authenticate and which seemingly could be replicated easily on many computers.
Zaman Al-Wasl, a newspaper supportive of forces fighting against both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and terror groups such as ISIS, published 122 pages of documents it said came from an ISIS defector. These 122 documents, out of more than 1,700 overall reportedly obtained by the same publication, only pertain to self-identifying suicide attackers.
While they include lines to be filled out later – such as the site and time of a person’s death – the content mostly consists of questions and answers posed at a border crossing into territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State, according to Zaman Al-Wasl.
German intelligence officials said they, too, have similar if not identical documents, though they didn’t detail how they got them.
Markus Koths, a spokesman for the German Federal Criminal Police, said the documents appear to be authentic.
One of the questions on the documents is “Who recommended you?” That information could benefit intelligence authorities, one expert told German public broadcaster ARD.
“It is not often known who are the recruiters. Or, if you know it, it is not provable,” Guido Steinberg of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs said, according to ARD’s translation. “The great hope is now that we come to the people who sent the young people to Syria from France, Germany or Britain because of these personal data.”
CNN’s Sara Mazloumsaki and Alba Prifti contributed to this report.