Other locals say they won’t be going to the auctions for legal reasons. They say that although the IS group is the authority in Mosul right now, this may not last. And sooner or later the real owners of the properties will return and claim them. There could be legal wrangling, prosecutions and more than likely, tribal feuding, because of that, the locals say.
“When the IS group entered Mosul, they already knew a lot of detailed information about the city’s real estate,” says Mohammed Alla, a lawyer and former resident of Mosul who is now living in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan; the IS group abolished the local legal system when they took Mosul over and established their own, based on their own belief system.
“Even in the earliest hours of their occupation of the city, they had already marked out properties belonging to Christians and Shabaks and confiscated the properties belonging to public officials and security staff,” Alla explained. “They also notified Muslims living in houses belonging to Christians that they would have to pay their rent to the IS group now. Either that or leave the house.”
Part of the reason for this is the fact that the IS group, and their agents and allies, have been present in Mosul for a long time, well before June 2014.
In fact the office supervising property registration in Ninawa, which was located in the parts of Mosul where extremist groups had more influence, was closed by the local authorities because the extremists were assassinating the administrators and their employees, as well as threatening all who worked there.