Money-Making Plots: Extremists Now In Real Estate Business In Mosul
The Sunni Muslim extremist group that has taken over the northern city of Mosul has a new source of income: real estate. The Islamic State group has confiscated the properties of all those who fled or taken them off those they consider enemies. Locals say the plan is to auction the real estate off and make more money.
After taking control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in early June, the Sunni Muslim extremist group known as the Islamic State have been busy “coming into some property”. They have “inherited” houses, industrial real estate and agricultural land around the areas they control in the province of Ninawa, mostly due to the fact that the rightful owners have fled or been forced out by the IS group.
All of this real estate is considered to be under the control of the Islamic State, or IS, group’s so-called treasury system, or Bayt al-Mal. Historically this was a kind of public fund, that was supposed to help pay for social development in Muslim kingdoms.
On the ground in Mosul, the IS group has been collecting rents and taxes for their own version of the historical treasury, acting just like the Mosul municipal authorities used to do, with a lot of rent coming from the two big commercial areas on either side of the city. It’s estimated that there are more than 5,000 businesses in these areas. The IS group is also collecting rent from other parts of town – including industrial projects elsewhere and even tourist facilities in Mosul’s greener areas.
Most of the property belongs to locals who have fled and had their property confiscated by the IS group as a result or those who have been forced out. This includes houses of Christian locals in the neighbourhoods of Al Arab, Shurta, Nour, Muhandiseen, Majmouah, Thaqafiyah, Faisaliah and Zohour on one side of the city and houses in the neighbourhoods of Dawas, Jawsaq and Dandan on the other side of the city. Shops and other commercial or industrial properties owned by Christians have also been seized by the IS group.