Photo courtesy of CNN
By Akanksha Kar
A FBI translator who traveled to Syria under top secret security clearance, married a key ISIS operative she had been assigned to investigate, CNN has recently learned.
The employee, Daniela Greene, lied to the FBI about her whereabouts and warned her new husband that he was being investigated, according to federal court records.
On June 11, 2014, Greene filed for a Report of Foreign Travel form, essentially a document that FBI employees with national security clearances must complete when traveling abroad.
Greene, who was still married to her American husband at the time, wrote her purpose of travel was for “Vacation/Personal,” court records show.
She wrote, “Want to see my family,” as the reason for travel, specifically going to see her parents in Munich, Germany.
She boarded an international flight on June 23, 2014 and instead flew on a one-way ticket to Istanbul, Turkey, where she stayed at Erguvan Hotel. From there, she traveled to the city of Gaziantep, about 20 miles from the Syrian border. Once she was near Syria she contacted someone who assisted her to cross the border into Syria. Once there, she married him.
Her acts were tracked down after she had sent emails to an unknown person from Syria stating that she was having second thoughts of the marriage. In another email she wrote, “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…”
Denis Cuspert, a German rapper turned ISIS pitchman, and also Greene’s husband, has growing influence as an online recruiter for violent jihadists and got himself put on the radar of counterterrorism authorities on two continents.
While in Germany Cuspert’s name was Deso Dogg, In Syria, he was known as Abu Talha al-Almani. In several songs, he praised Osama bin Laden and threatened former President Barack Obama with a throat-cutting gesture. Moreover, he appeared in propaganda videos, including one where he was holding a freshly severed human head.
Greene was sentenced to 2 years in prison after she fled back to U.S. claiming that it was a terrible mistake to get into the marriage only after a few weeks of being married. She was released just last summer.
Greene now works as a hostess in a hotel lounge. She said in a brief interview with CNN that she was fearful of discussing the details of her case and that, “If I talk to you my family will be in danger,” Greene said. She declined to comment any further.
In October 2015, the Pentagon said Cuspert was killed in an air strike near the northern Syria city of Raqqah. However, on August 3rd, 2016, the Pentagon released a statement reversing its assessment of Cuspert’s death: “It now appears that assessment was incorrect and Denis Cuspert survived the airstrike.”