FBI Translator Marries Specially Designated Global Terrorist
Daniela Greene was an FBI translator who was fluent in German and held a top secret clearance. She joined the Bureau in 2011. But after she was assigned to investigate a German rapper named Denis Cuspert, who was a recruiter for ISIS, she traveled to Syria in 2014 and married him. The record of her breach of public trust and her arrest were sealed, hidden from the public until recently.
Scott Glover, an investigative journalist, published the results of his investigation into this bizarre episode in an article entitled “The FBI Translator Who Went Rogue and Married an ISIS Terrorist.”
He learned that Ms Greene lied to the FBI about her travel plans to Syria, telling them she was going to visit her family in Germany. Instead, she had a one-way ticket to Turkey, and from there she traveled to Gaziantep and checked in a hotel. Then she contacted Cuspert. With his help and that of a third party, she crossed into Syria. There she married him.
The terrorist in her life
The US State Department lists Cuspert as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist.’ Although they thought he had been killed in 2015, they reversed that stance and stated he was still alive. Their website says, in part:
Denis Cuspert is a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for ISIL, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Cuspert joined ISIL in 2012 and has appeared in numerous videos on its behalf, the most recent dating from early November, in which he appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing ISIL. Born in Berlin, the 39-year-old Cuspert spent time in jail for various offenses. Now calling himself Abu Talha al-Almani, Cuspert has pledged an oath of loyalty to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and appears to serve as an ISIL recruiter with special emphasis on recruiting German speakers to ISIL. Cuspert is emblematic of the type of foreign recruit ISIL seeks for its ranks – individuals who have engaged in criminal activity in their home countries who then travel to Iraq and Syria to commit far worse crimes against the people of those countries. Foreign terrorist fighters are reported to have played significant roles in some of ISIL’s most egregious crimes, including the massacres of the Sh’aitat tribe in Syria and the Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq, as well as the almost daily public executions in Raqqa. Cuspert has been a willing pitchman for ISIL atrocities. Cuspert is also wanted by the German government on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities in his home country.
It seems fairly obvious at that point that this FBI translator was being used because of her position. Having an FBI translator who knew about the inside workings of the Bureau would have been a great catch for the terrorist group.
Waking up after the damage is done
She apparently woke up to the fact that she’d made a mistake and began sending emails from Syria. It’s also a miracle that she wasn’t murdered, although revenge by the terror group could still be extracted.
“I was weak and didn’t know how to handle anything anymore.” July 8
“I am gone and I can’t come back. I wouldn’t even know how to make it through, if I tried to come back. I am in a very harsh environment and I don’t know how long I will last here, but it doesn’t matter, it’s all a little too late…” July 9
“Not sure if they told you that I will probably go to prison for a long time if I come back, but that is life. I wish I could turn back time some days.” July 22
She finally did return to the United States where she was immediately arrested and began cooperating with the government.
“[Greene] violated the public trust, the trust of the officials who granted her security clearance, and the trust of those with whom she worked and, in doing so, endangered our nation’s security.” Assistant US Attorney Thomas Gillice
Greene spent just two years in federal prison, which is significantly less time than most who commit terror-related violations. She was released on August 4, 2016. She is now out of prison and living somewhere in the United States. According to Mr. Glover’s article, she declined speaking with him because of the danger to her family.