German officials continue to crow about their acquisition of a list of 22,000 ISIS recruits from a defector, insisting that the documents are definitely authentic and a major blow to the ISIS recruiting network. Researchers are less impressed.
Charlie Winter, a researcher at Georgia State, said problems with the language of the documents gave them a similar appearance to “really shoddily-made forgeries,” while another researcher said he’d repeatedly been offered memory sticks with similar documents in and around ISIS territory.
With intelligence agencies flocking to the area around ISIS territory to try gather information, there are a lot of people creating forgeries to try to sell to these eager customers, the ubiquity of such forgeries has made recognizing a real document much more difficult.
Officials hyping the documents appear to be engaged in wishful thinking, and having already gone on the record claiming the documents were real are now dismissing any doubts simply to avoid looking foolish.
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