The unseen documents displayed and translated below were obtained in the north Aleppo countryside from a refugee who is originally from the Tel Afar area and had resided in Mosul. Since the launching of the military campaign by Iraqi forces whose main goal is to retake Mosul, thousands of Iraqi Sunni Turkmen from the Tel Afar area have fled to the north Aleppo countryside, partly in fear of the primarily Shi’a Popular Mobilization (Hashd Sha’abi) units that are leading the drive to retake Tel Afar. The Hashd Sha’abi focus on Tel Afar is hardly surprising given that many Iraqi Shi’a Turkmen previously resided in Tel Afar and are eager to reclaim their homes taken from them by the Islamic State in its conquests of the summer of 2014.
The route to the north Aleppo countryside is long and arduous involving smuggling through the desert regions, but may offer the best hope of getting to Turkey, where the Iraqi Turkmen have linguistic and cultural affinities. Turkey is still maintaining a tight border with Syria though, and no entry to Turkey has occurred yet. Perhaps Turkey wishes to keep them in the north Aleppo countryside- where a special camp exists for these refugees to the east of Azaz town– as part of its wider “Euphrates Shield” proxy project.
The documents date to 20 Muharram 1438 AH (c. 21 October 2016 CE, going by the Islamic State’s calendar), around the beginning of the launching of the present campaign by Iraqi forces. The documents concern regulations put in place in light of the military operations. Many of these regulations are of course not surprising. For example, regulation no. 6 (note that the numbering is slightly erroneous in the documents) is clearly intended to avert potential targets for coalition airstrikes near hospitals, assets the Islamic State considers vital in particular for treatment of fighters. The military operations and state of emergency also provide no excuse for violating Islamic State regulations on Islamic morality.
Even so, the regulations and themes in these documents show a reality quite different from Islamic State propaganda on the Mosul operations that has partly focused on displaying the apparent normality of life in Mosul despite the military campaign to retake the city (e.g. see some examples collected by ICSR colleague Charlie Winter here). Particular concerns focus on price hikes in commodities as the city was likely expected to come under some sort of siege, as well as concern about people fleeing Islamic State territory, something that has been a thorn in the Islamic State’s side as it dents the proclaimed Caliphate’s image of being the true protector and home of Muslims.
Finally, some interesting side points emerge in these documents. In particular, the subject of whether the Islamic State’s currency, much hyped in propaganda, has actually been functioning on the ground has long been a matter of interest. These documents show that the Islamic State’s currency is now in circulation, though its use is strictly to be confined to the borders of Islamic State territory.
Diwan al-Qada and the Islamic police in Mosul
20 Muharram 1438 AH
Brothers who are citizens of the Islamic State may God protect you:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and prayers and peace be upon the one sent with the sword as a mercy to the worlds. As for what follows:
The Muslim is the fortress of the religion, whether a mujahid or ordinary citizen, whether under allegiance or supporting the Islamic Caliphate, and all the Muslims dwelling in the land of the Caliphate have what the mujahideen have, and upon them is what is upon them from the Caliph until the last and final man among them.
Not one of you will be unaware of the size of the Crusader conspiracy in all its forms against the Islamic State, east and west, from Aleppo to Mosul. For the paths of kufr have gathered under one banner and one objective: to lower the banner, tear out the Qur’an, smash the hudud, and sow corruption so that no other foundation can arise for Islam.
But no, by God, they have failed, lost and their appointment is Hellfire in this world and the Hereafter, for God will not go back on His promise and it is He who gave victory to Muhammad in his message, so how can He not support the Ummah of Muhammad?
Indeed among the reasons for victory over the enemy is organizing the internal house for the Ummah in the event of wars and hardships, for dispersion, degradation and waste are one of the reasons for the loss of the Muslims when they divide, fight each other, and malice, egotism, narcissism and hatred of the Muslim brother spread among them.
Therefore, your brothers in the Islamic State have begun a campaign aiming to reach the streets, mosques and markets of Mosul city calling on the people to keep to the faith, patience, confronting the self and the enemy, and fortifying the heart before the enclosures.
As it is necessary to organize matters of the city so that its fronts should be stable, the Islamic police apparatus in the city of Mosul has undertaken to notify the Muslim populace of principal matters to be adhered to without violation, because that is a cause of chaos and bringing out hypocrisy in the chests of the believers.
1. It is forbidden to use phone apparatuses near military and security checkpoints and war and civil bases of the Dawla under penalty of Shari’i reckoning.
2. It is forbidden to pass into military points and fighting fronts around the city except the one who has licensing from the public security apparatus.
4. It is forbidden to operate xenon gas lights during emergencies.
5. It is forbidden to disturb public security like firing gunshots during celebrations, funerals and quarrels under penalty of Shari’i reckoning with no leniency in ruling in view of the public interest.
6. It is forbidden to park and gather in front of the hospitals, intentionally or unintentionally, under penalty of Shari’i inquiry.
7. It is forbidden to purchase [/acquire] heavy weaponry whose caliber exceeds 7.62
8. It is forbidden to breach Shari’i dress and exploit states of emergency, as well as smoke and do condemned acts under penalty of doubling the Shari’i penalty that requires the Muslim to comply with the commands of his religion and his code of conduct, and comply even more during tribulation.
9. All caught swindling the Muslims in their food, drink and other things or doubling price and hoarding commodities will be exposed to Shari’i trial that may lead to confiscating the goods or shop that harms the Muslims.
10. All are forbidden to depart the borders of the wilaya to seek refuge. Exempted from that are critical cases like leaving for medical treatment and something besides that.
If the Muslims were to stand together as one man, their enemy would not be able to accomplish anything against them, and the states of kufr would not be able to mobilise their numbers and media in the war against the Dawla on the grounds of defending freedoms and civilians.
For the corruption sowed by these people is spreading through the entire Islamic abode, weakening the determination of the people of Islam and weakening their might. Besides that, whoever gets out a Muslim from the land of Islam to the abode of kufr ‘as a refugee’: that entails the strongest punishment with God and corrupting his religion, and his world is as of the one who has gone out by himself.
The Almighty has said:
“Those taken in death by the angels wronging themselves. They said: ‘In what state were you?’ They said: ‘We were oppressed in the land.’ They said: ‘Was not the earth of God wide enough for you to migrate in it?’ For these people, their place of refuge is Hellfire, and evil it is as a destination. But the oppressed from the men, women and children who cannot devise a way and are not guided, perhaps God will forgive them, and indeed God is forgiving, merciful” (al-Nisa 98-99) [Qur’an 4:98-99].
So if you consider such a person in whose refuge is Hellfire, what are you to think of the one who has got the Muslims out of their land!!
For to these people no obligation or mercy is due in the law of God, and they will be tried per the ruling on those who sow corruption in the land because they have planted corruption on God’s earth. The Almighty has said:
“And among the people are those who say: ‘We believe in God and the Last Day.’ But they do not really believe. They seek to deceive God and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and they do not realize it. In their hearts is a disease, and God has increased their disease. For them is a painful torment in what they have disbelieved. And if it is said to them: ‘Do not sow corruption in the land.’ They say: ‘But we are doers of good.’ But indeed they are sowers of corruption but do not realize. And when it is said to them: ‘Believe as the people have believed.’ They said: ‘Are we to believe as the fools have believed?’ But they are the fools but they do not know. And when they meet those who have believed, they say: ‘We believe.’ But when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: ‘We are with you. We were only jesting.’ God will mock them and prolong them in their transgression while they wander blindly. They are those who have purchased error with guidance, but their transaction has not profited them and they were not guided. They are as one who has kindled a fire, but when it illuminated what was around him, Go took away their fire and left them in darkness they could not see. Deaf, dumb and blind. They will not return.” (al-Baqara) [Qur’an 2:9-18].
Therefore with regards to the warning, we make clear that all caught trying to get the Muslims out of their abode to the abode of kufr through non-Shari’i means will have their case referred to the Diwan al-Amn al-Aam that will take the deserved Shari’i punishment against them.
Because the one who works to get the Muslims out of their abode is sowing disunity and doubt in the minds of the Muslims, making their willpower grow weak, destroying their blessing and their gathering, and indeed this is exploiting the Muslim and terrorizing him. For the one who sees another who has fled to the land of kufr out of fear of confrontation, his willpower is weakened, his endurance is lost and his faith becomes contemptible [/of little importance].
Then it is that ‘smugglers’ who specialize in that as an occupation are exploiting the Muslims in their wealth, taking from them whatever sum they can or throwing them in the idle of the desert and enemy, meeting their fate, and they exploit the weakness of the families when they take out their women and children.
– All caught with evidence in which there is no doubt that they have engaged in swindling or increased the price of goods or hoarded them will be referred to the special Shari’i court that has been newly set up by the brothers in Mosul to deter weakening of lives and prevent the greed of the corrupt. And in the event any accusation is proved against him from what has been mentioned, his wealth in which he swindles the Muslims or keeps from them will be confiscated.
– The Bayt al-Mal will define prices of foreign currencies and gold in the event the city market is cut off from its exterior, and the merchants will adopt the announcements of prices from the specified official.
– It is also forbidden to hoard gold, silver, precious metals and different financial documents in the event of demand, and the brothers from the Muslim populace must be bound by the Islamic State currency according to its availability in the market.
– It is forbidden to take the Islamic State’s special currency outside of the borders of the Dawla and whoever must go out with permission granted must go to the Bayt al-Mal to exchange what he has from it.
– It is forbidden to take out goods of ‘necessity’ from foodstuffs, heating goods, manufacturing and agricultural equipment, household furniture and building materials outside the borders of the wilaya under penalty of confiscation for the Bayt al-Mal.
– It is forbidden to take out vehicles, trucks and motorcycles outside the borders of the wilaya except by permission from the Islamic Hisba.
– It is forbidden to take out, hoard or sell fuels at a price not specified by the Islamic State under penalty of confiscation.
20 Muharram 1438 AH
End of document.