How Islamic State's secret services hunt down informers


The Islamic State employs the techniques of Western secret services to track down potential informers. This includes using CIA-inspired interrogation methods and agent provocateurs, and carrying out background checks on prisoners and new recruits from Europe. But as Matthieu Suc reports in this second article on the jihadist organisation's secret services, this does not mean they are always immune from double agents.

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At the age of 19 Jejoen Bontinck saw jihad as a way of chatting up women. This member of the Islamist association Sharia4Belgium learnt the right Surah - verses of the Koran - to comfort Muslim women hurt by the hostility of a local population who, they believe, reject them because they wear a veil. This mixed-race young man made at least one of them believe that they were married according to the conventions of Islam so he could sleep with her. So once he was in Syria the reality of the war inevitably came as something of a shock. After a month in the training camp of what was not yet then officially called Islamic State, Jejoen was miserable and wanted to return to Belgium.