A collection of documents seized by the US Special Forces during a raid on an Islamic State (Isis) hideout in Syria has shed light on the government-like structure set up by the terrorist organisation. Notably, there are departments to oversee the handling of war spoils including slaves, antiquities and oil holdings.
"This really kind of brings it out. The level of bureaucratisation, organisation, the diwans (government ministries), the committees," Brett McGurk, special envoy for the anti-IS coalition, told Reuters. The documents reveal IS' (Daesh) methods of subjugating people under their control.
According to reports, there are a variety of legal codes in the form of fatwas that bolster ideologies regarding jihad, slave ownership and treatment of women. "Islamic State is invested in the statehood and Caliphate image more so than any other jihadist enterprise. So a formal organisation, besides being practical when you control so much contiguous territory and major cities, also reinforces the statehood image," said Aymenn al-Tamimi, a member of the Middle East Forum think tank and an expert on IS' structure.
The documents – recovered in the form of CDs, pen drives and papers – were confiscated during a raid in May this year, which saw the death of IS' financial official, Abu Sayyaf. The haul will aid anti-IS coalitions to find chinks in the organisation's armour and strike them in the most vulnerable areas.
A document from the raid – referring to a January 2015 directive – was found outlining the rules for human organ harvesting and using parts from live prisoners to save the lives of Muslims.
A version of the document translated from the original Arabic by the US government read: "Allah almighty knows best what is right and what is wrong, and there is evidence from texts and Islamic principles and laws supporting the notion that transplanting healthy organs from an apostate's body into a Muslim body in order to save the latter's life or replace a damaged organ with it is permissible."
The document also mentions that an individual is allowed to consume human flesh as a means to counter death. "The apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and maybe taken with impunity," stated the notice by IS' Research and Fatwa committee.