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'An eager snitch': Iraqi IS chief was a 'prison informer' for US

US military spokesman Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll in Baghdad [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2021

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Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi was once a prison informer in Iraq for the US army, records show.
Newly released US prison records in Iraq show that the current Islamic State group (IS) leader was an "eager" prison informant whose information led to the deaths of several militants including the second-in-command at the time.

Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi [real name Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abd-al-Rahman al-Mawla] is the current leader of the IS and during his stint in an American prison in Iraq, he allegedly provided information to the US military on the jihadi group.

Some 53 partially redacted reports were released for a study and show that Al-Qurashi provided detailed information about operations, including information that led to the capture and killing of a Moroccan-born Swede named Abu Qaswarah in 2008 who was IS' second-in-command.

He drew a map of Qaswarah's compound and provided details of terrorism suspects including information about the restaurants and cafes they frequented.

In another instance, he revealed to US officials who had confiscated his phone book, the numbers of 19 IS officials and their incomes.

He also provided extensive details about an IS propaganda unit and on non-Iraqis in the organisation, the report claims.

"Detainee is providing a lot of information on ISI associates," one 2008 report states.

"Once captured, he sang like a bird about his organisation and, in the words of one scholar, became the 'canary caliph'," Daniel Milton, an associate professor at the Combating Terrorism Center who was one of the researchers who reviewed the documents, wrote in an essay published by the national security blog Lawfare.

Several weeks into his detention, Al-Mawla apparently "attempted to create a computer composite facial sketch" of a Saudi Arabian foreign fighter known as Jar Allah.

"These [interrogation reports] are chock-full of details," Milton added.

"He did a number of things to save his own neck, and he had a long record of being hostile - including during interrogation - toward foreigners in ISIS," Christopher Maier, assistant secretary of defence for special operations and low-intensity conflict told The Washington Post.

"With the rise of ISIS, and the desire to form a caliphate with thousands of foreign fighters, that’s problematic [for Mawla]". 

Records stopped in July 2008, and it is thought that after nearly one year of being an informant, Mawla stopped cooperating as he expected to be rewarded for the information he supplied.

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