Researchers to archive ISIS documents with The New York Times

GW’s Program on Extremism is partnering with The New York Times to catalog thousands of internal documents from the Islamic State group, according to a Times release Monday.

GW researchers will analyze roughly 15,000 pages of documents acquired by Times reporters and will publish the documents on a searchable database, according to the release. The documents were originally described in an interactive report from The Times, headlined “The ISIS Files,” in April.

The files include land deeds, military strategies, tax receipts and internal regulations. Researchers will archive, digitize and translate the documents before publishing them online, and will also review the files prior to publication to ensure no information that could harm civilians is released, the release states.

“The public repository will serve as a record of genocide, to aid in a better understanding of one of most dangerous terrorist organizations in decades, providing a sense of how such an entity runs a state, and informing future policies to prevent rise of next Islamic State type of group,” the release states.

Researchers across the globe will then be able to search the database and access files detailing many of the Islamic State’s plans. The documents – which are mostly written in Arabic – will be published in their original form, according to the release.

Reporters gave the documents to the Iraqi government after they were digitized through the country’s embassy in D.C., the release states.

“Access to these documents will enhance our understanding of national security issues and provide an important window into the modern history of Iraq and Syria,” Provost Forrest Maltzman said in the release.

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