A Syrian rebel spy chief has stated that the CIA have consistently ignored his vital intelligence about ISIS since 2013.
Fighting for the Free Syrian Army, the spy boss claims he has been sending critical in-depth reports to contacts in the CIA since ISIS had just 20 members – sending them everything from phone numbers and pictures, to GPS co-ordinates.
His group receives $10,000 (£7,000) per month from the U.S. government and includes 30 spies who are embedded inside Islamic State strongholds, according to the Daily Mail.
When interviewed by French newspaper Le Monde, the man known only as ‘M’, said:
From the moment [ISIS] had 20 members to when it had 20,000, we have shown everything to the Americans.
When we asked them what they did with this information, they always gave evasive answers, saying it was in the hands of decision-makers.
My agents also managed to get hold of phone numbers of ISIS officials, serial numbers of satellite equipment and IP addresses. But once again, zero response.
Back in 2014, M informed the CIA of a battle plan designed to take the largest city in Syria, Aleppo, back from ISIS – however, he says that the CIA postponed any sort of attack numerous times before Al-Qaeda took it.
Now, Aleppo is unrecognisable and one of Syria’s most bloodied and dangerous cities, with numerous rebel groups fighting each other and the government too.
M’s Free Syrian Army agents and informants conduct many incredibly risky operations. One photo M shared with Le Monde was of an ISIS training camp.
About the picture, he said:
Naturally I transmitted this to my Western contacts with the GPS coordinates but got no response.
The Free Syrian Army formed in the midst of the Syrian Revolution by groups of deserters from the Syrian Army who had became disillusioned by their forced mistreatment of the Syrian people.
Just yesterday, it came out that the Syrian Democratic Forces, a rebel militia quite similar to the Free Syrian Army, is making successful advances towards Aleppo and now they are just 20 miles away.
Still, these allegations that the CIA ignored such crucial information about ISIS when the group were in their fledgling stages, are extremely worrying. Could some of the subsequent bloodshed have been avoided if the U.S. had acted sooner?
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.