Inside IS’ Mosul

In practice though, a lot of locals are turning to the emirs, or leaders, in the different sectors of the city whenever they have a problem.

The IS group has also started to apply the "spoils of war” law, that’s stipulated in Sharia code and which is about 1,400 years old. This says that the Islamic state is allowed to take over goods and property left behind by those who fled their Islamic fighters. And the IS group has already started confiscating assets of senior officials and Iraqi officers who fled Mosul, with some taking over their houses to live in.

In the first few days after Mosul fell to the Sunni Muslim extremists, the people of the city had been allowed to move around relatively freely. The gunmen tended not to stop cars at checkpoints and simply let them pass through with a wave of their hands.

On the day I came into Mosul, a masked gunman just waved us through. But this time when I left Mosul, in order to go shopping in parts of the countryside that were better supplied than the city, things had changed. I left the city together with a group of young people and as we were going, a gunman approached us.

He asked for our identification and what we did for a living. “Are you sure there are no police or soldiers among your group?,” he asked. We denied that there were but he continued to stare at us suspiciously for a long time. Eventually he let us go.

As our taxi driver then told us, rather enthusiastically: “They’re now looking for police and military men who are trying to leave Mosul. The IS group have accurate numbers on how many there were in the city and they know that the number of people who repented are far lower than the real number in the city. So they have decided it is time to hunt for them,” the driver explained.

The extremist group had said that any former police or soldiers could repent for their jobs at designated mosques and then be pardoned.

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