Counter Trafficking in Iraq and Kurdistan (Part 3)

Counter Trafficking in Iraq and Kurdistan (Part 3)

“Are we really going out into the city tomorrow?” asked a participant during week two of All Things Possible’s counter-sex trafficking training in Northern Iraq. “Are we going to actually conduct a training operation to recover a girl and track down a trafficker?”

“Yes,” I replied. “We believe that our classroom training is second to none, but what we really enjoy doing, and where we excel, is bringing this training to the streets.”

“This course is designed to take what we’ve discussed over the past few days and put it to the test in a practical exercise,” I added.

A sly smile crossed the participant’s face, reinforcing to us that he was ready for the challenge.

Our team members at ATP are specially selected for their ability to be agile and capitalize on opportunities that come our way. When God opens a door for us, we are ready to run through it. The doors that God opened for us in Kurdistan are awe-inspiring.

When we pause for a moment and look back at how we got here, it is nothing short of amazing. Throughout my military career, I built relationships and a deep understanding of Kurdistan and the people there.

In 2015, Victor and Eileen Marx were asked to come to Kurdistan to help people heal from the traumas they sustained from years of war and atrocities under ISIS. Victor and I literally met in Erbil in 2017, and we started working together.

Six years later, Victor has moved up to the CEO role and asked me to be the new president of ATP. We pivoted from rescuing women and children enslaved by ISIS to spearheading a modern and comprehensive counter-sex trafficking capability in Kurdistan.

God keeps opening doors. We’ve found favor with Kurdish leaders in the highest levels of their government across multiple sectors. During this trip, we anchored our training at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) headquarters in Erbil, and representatives from all different directorates came to meet us here and to be trained.

We had representatives from Asayish (FBI), police, money laundering, human rights and many other departments, but our focus was on the police.

Without a police force that understands how to identify this problem, interrupt the cycle of abuse and knows ways to help restore the victims that survive exploitation, we will never mount a meaningful offense.

After our first training session, an experienced Peshmerga and seasoned police chief in northeastern Kurdistan stated:

“I remember in 2006, when U.S. Forces introduced the modern techniques for gathering evidence. We knew how to capture fingerprints, but the biometrics devices and other tools they shared with us were incredible. We didn’t quite understand all of it at the time, but by now, 15 years later, we have full forensics labs and we’ve evolved with how we do policing.

What you have been teaching us this week has the potential to change how we do policing by helping us understand (open source intelligence) and how we can identify victims, build a case and catch these traffickers,” said a lieutenant colonel and lead detective for Countering Organized Crime in Northern Iraq. “I want to thank you for teaching us this week. Not all of it may be understood right now, but I can see where we can take this. We will never forget this training.”

This was music to our ears.

Scenario-based Training

We want YOU to experience a bit of the practical exercise that we created for this course. Toward the end of two days of classroom training, we presented the class with a training scenario.

After we lay out the scenario, give it a shot. We provided some of the clues and answers that we left for you to find.

Here’s the scenario as we briefed it:

Situation: ATP Intel team believes known trafficker Ahmed Ali, aka “ya hayati Ali,” is smuggling girls into Erbil from Syria and Turkey under the guise of an international modeling contest. ​

​A local source reported Ali sells these girls at local hotels and bars to “earn their freedom.”​

​A reliable source reported seeing Rose Kose, one of Ali’s girls, partying with Mohammed, who is linked to organized crime and known to police as a buyer/broker of underage girls.​

​The source states Ali uses the application, “Tagged” to sell his girls.

Pimp Ahmed Ali operates between Erbil, Syria and Turkey.

He is connected to different organized-crime families and gangs throughout the Middle East and usually travels with two bodyguards.

He is often seen with Mohammed, who we believe helps to facilitate the smuggling operation and is a buyer of younger girls.

Mohammed is suspected of facilitating smuggling rings through Kurdistan, Turkey and Syria.

We believe he is a buyer/broker of young or underage girls​​ and is often seen at parties with Ahmed Ali. Mohammed also uses the “Tagged” app.  ​

Rose Kose is believed to be from Turkey and came to Iraq as part of an international modeling contest.

We also provided some known party locations in Erbil that included Ankawa Royal Hotel & Spa and Déjà vu Restaurant & Café (bar).

The mission we gave them, and your mission, if you choose to accept it, is:

Mission: TIP class 001 conducts counter-sex trafficking operations consisting of OSINT research, a buyer sting and a trafficker sting NLT 15:00 Tuesday, April 4 in order to disrupt international sex trafficking in Kurdistan.

Our challenge to you is to see what you can find with the information provided to start building a case against Ali and an operation to recover Rose. Each piece of information you find will have a numerical value attached to it just like we do with our Skull Games.

Take some time and see what you can find

Did you find Rose Kose on Facebook? If so, give yourself 100 points.

If not, you can find her here:

Did you find any of Rose’s friends? If so, give yourself 250 points.

If not, you can find Rose’s friend Yasmine Az here:

Did you find any of Ahmed Ali, aka “ya hayati Ali?” If so, give yourself 250 points. If not, you can find Ali here:

Did you find anything else of interest? If so, give yourself the following points:

  • Other social nedia sites: 10 points
  • Birth date: 15 points
  • Other locations of interest: 20 points
  • Tattoos/scars: 25 points

We want to thank all of you for supporting ATP and letting us be the hands and feet of Yeshua. This groundbreaking training in Kurdistan was only possible because of the favor God has shown us and the support you have provided us.

Many times we don’t see the fruit of our labors right away. While we are experiencing immediate results during our time here, we also wait upon the Lord for more.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” — Isaiah 40:31


Help us write more stories, like this one.


Stay connected with our work around the world.