Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 03/19/2012

Former Syrian official leaks secret documents to al-Jazeera

The Syrian government has another mole.

Syrian rebels patrol in the north of the Idlib region Sunday. (Frederic LaFargue - AFP/Getty Images)
Abdel Majid Barakat, formerly one of the government’s most trusted officials, has fled to Turkey, bringing confidential documents prepared for the Syrian president with him.

The documents, which Barakat shared with al-Jazeera, suggest that the Syrian government went to great lengths to protect its stronghold cities. According to al-Jazeera, the documents also include detailed government plans to stop the opposition from getting into Damascus and to crush protests in the cities of Aleppo and Idlib. The government also planned to give financial and moral aid to supporters of the president in Aleppo.

A presidential decree named in the documents said that any gathering in a public square would be deemed a riot and would be punishable with imprisonment for one month to a year, al-Jazeera reports.

In his former role, Barakat collated information for the government from across Syria at the secret joint crisis management cell in Damascus. While there, he says he leaked many documents to the opposition. But about a month ago, the government realized that there was a mole, according to Barakat, and he fled to Turkey.

Al-Jazeera says it is confident that the documents are valid, having worked to verify not only the content but also the letterhead and signatures.

The Washington Post cannot independently verify the veracity of the documents.

By  |  04:53 PM ET, 03/19/2012

Tags:  World, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, leaks

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