Several former Islamic State militants have been arrested in Jordan over the last week yielding information indicating IS fighters fleeing Iraq and Syria may have traveled abroad on fake European passports, an Arab intelligence official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The arrested militants are of Jordanian, Tunisian and Algerian nationalities, the official said. He added that they were detained carrying fake Turkish passports.
He said interrogations of the suspects revealed some of their comrades in arms had already left Jordan for Tunisia, at least two of them with French passports. He said that the information was forwarded to an international headquarters, operated by Middle Eastern and European intelligence services, which monitors the movement of former IS militants leaving battlegrounds in Syria, Iraq’s Mosul and until recently Libya’s Sirte.
He also said that some European jihadists may have successfully returned to their countries of origin and are being searched for by local intelligence agencies.
The official said that despite heightened measures along the Syrian-Turkish border, the area remains the jihadists’ favorite escape route. He added that a passport counterfeit industry is still underway in Turkey, after Turkey turned a blind eye while the battle against IS was at its apex.
The official said that the information collected during the interrogations of militants in Jordan and Tunisia led to raids by Turkish forces in border areas and in Istanbul.
He said that the Jordanian border is much more tightly sealed, and the few militants who do cross it are often nabbed by the Jordanian intelligence. What’s more, tribal elements in Jordan have been instrumental in curbing jihadists who have found refuge with Jordanian Salafists, he added.
The official also said that one of the detainees, an Egyptian, was caught carrying a large sum of money, which prompted the authorities to believe that the fugitives are planning to build terror infrastructure in other countries, and that many of them still hold on to their pledge of allegiance to IS and its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.