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An Egyptian man has reportedly delivered a financial blow to the Islamic State (Isis) by becoming "emir" of its alms department and then fleeing with almost one million US dollars to Turkey.
Abu Obeida (or Ubaidah) al-Masri, secretary of the Zakat (charity) bureau and treasurer of IS Syrian branch, eloped with the funds amounting to "billion Syrian pounds" which have been collected by his department in Deir Ez Zour province, Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported, citing Syrian Press Center news site.
According to some rumours, IS militants have issued an order to stop recruiting Egyptian jihadists because of the incident.
The claim could not be independently verified by IBTimes UK.
IS imposed a Zakat tax on merchants and industrialists in the areas under its control in the north-eastern countryside of Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isis "has forced the merchants and industrialists to pay 2.5% of each sale."
The merchants told the militants that they are already paying money to the poor families, but IS responded that those families should report to the Zakat bureau instead.
"The money paid to the poor without reference to the Zakat Chamber is an act of charity, but it doesn't exempt traders from paying to the Zakat Chamber," IS reportedly said.
The Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam and refers to the systematic giving of 2.5% of one's wealth each year to benefit the poor. The rate only applies to cash, gold and silver and commercial items.