March 1, 2012 | Quote

Syria Hit List Targets Thousands

According to Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syria expert and fellow at the conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the document contains the names of people wanted by the government's military and security services. It lists many of them with specific information—the year of their birth, names of their relatives, and descriptions such as, “he leads rallies in the Sakhaneh neighborhood.” The list also includes military defectors and their units and ranks, Abdulhamid said. “This kind of info on this scale cannot be available to the general public, or faked.” …

“I have seen lists that had hundreds of names listed in the same manner,” Abdulhamid said. “Some were published on the web by activists to warn people. Others included names of people who were later arrested or killed. Activists have reported since the early days of the revolution that when loyalist security forces came to their neighborhoods, they indeed carried a list of names in their hands and were looking for specific people, in addition to making random arrests or arresting relatives of the people whose names they had.”

He added: “It is possible that some of these lists have been leaked intentionally and that they contain names of pro-Assad elements to be used as bait for catching activists. The dynamics of the revolution have become very complex—there is active cyberwar going on, intelligence and counterintelligence, propaganda and counterpropaganda, and the regime tends to have the upper hand in these fields.”

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