ISIS Department of War Spoils:
ISIS has set up departments to handle war spoils, including slaves, and the exploitation of natural resources such as oil, creating the trappings of government that enable it to manage large swaths of Syria and Iraq and other areas. The hierarchical bureaucracy, including petty rivalries between officials, and legal codes in the form of religious fatwas are detailed in a cache of documents seized by US Special Operations Forces in a May raid in Syria that killed top ISIS financial official Abu Sayyaf. Reuters reviewed some of the documents.
ISIS Department of War Spoils of Handles Slave, US officials say the documents have helped deepen their understanding of a militant group whose skill in controlling the territory it has seized has surprised many. They provide insight into how a once small insurgent group has developed a complex bureaucracy to manage revenue streams – from pillaged oil to stolen antiquities – and oversee subjugated populations. The documents show ISIS is not immune to the rivalries and personality clashes that typify bureaucracies everywhere. A November 21, 2014 letter from the Diwan of Natural Resources emphasizes that Abu Sayyaf is in charge of handling antiquities.
“The reason being is that he is very knowledgeable in this field and that Abu Jihad al-Tunisi is a simpleton who can’t manage the division,” it says.
Kindness and Cruelty:
In the documents, there is a ruling on proper procedure for filling out the personal details of prospective fighters: name, gender, and communications method – telephone, telegram, Skype or the mobile messaging service WhatsApp.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents it obtained, which represent a fraction of the material seized in the Syria raid. US forces captured a huge amount of data in the form of computer hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs and papers.
Many of the seized documents are fatwas, or religious rulings, covering issues from rape of female prisoners and the treatment of slaves with minor children to when it is permissible for a son to steal from his father to fund travel to fight jihad, or holy war.