Caliphate Chapter 6: Paper Trail | New York Times Audio Series (Transcript)
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AM: Did it go straight to voicemail or did it ring first?
RC: I think it went straight.
AM: It went straight to voicemail when I called him this morning too.
AV: [phone ringing] Sorry, there‚Äôs no more room to record new‚Ä¶
AM: I left a few.
RC: Did you?
AM: Can you just fill me in on microphone what‚Äôs going on?
RC: So about maybe an hour ago, I got a text message from our source. We were supposed to go back to see him this afternoon. He‚Äôd been delaying and not responding to our text messages and, out of the blue, he texted me, at 11:37 AM, saying, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm done with this, sorry. CSIS just came to my house and interviewed me. I‚Äôm done here.‚Äù
AM: So the morning after we interviewed Huseifa, we were supposed to meet back up with him, but we can‚Äôt get a hold of him and, finally, he sent a text saying that CSIS‚Ä¶?
RC: This is CSIS, this is the Canadian intelligence branch.
AM: Had contacted him and he‚Äôs saying that these authorities had questioned him, talked to his parents. According to him, they went through his computer.
RC: The timing of that was just really odd. So, of course, the first thought was was my phone being tracked or perhaps was he under surveillance and didn‚Äôt realize that he was being tracked? To this day, I don‚Äôt know if there‚Äôs a connection between me seeing him and authorities coming the next day. I tried to find out. One of the things that Huseifa sent me was a picture of the business card of the CSIS agent who had interviewed him that morning. I called that number repeatedly, I left messages. Nobody called me back.
So, normally, I would hang around. I would call my editors and ask for a couple more days on the ground, I would try to go to his house, I would maybe go to his place of work. I would see if I could re-engage with him, but I didn‚Äôt have time to do that because, at the very moment that we had gone to see Huseifa‚Ä¶
MR: Iraqi troops could, at any moment, enter Mosul, which has been under ISIS control for more than two years.
RC: The battle to take back the city of Mosul‚Ä¶
BO: This continues to be a difficult fight.