Global Independent Analytics

The Isis papers: leaked documents show how Isis is building its state

Apparently, ISIS is not just a bunch of mindless extremists

Shiv Malik in his article for The Guardian reveals the ISIS’ sketch which debunks new borders of Islamic State including definitions of severe financial management, civil functions and national authorities.

The secret ISIS’ report named “Principles in the Administration of the Islamic State” leaked from its authorities and demonstrates how the extremists are plotting to build a state in Syrian and Iraqi areas which would be accommodated with different branches, treasury and economic program. The playbook issued last year gives instructions on how to build a detached Islamic state with established foreign relations department, complete agitprop management and central oil and gas control in order to create the richest and most demoralizing Jihadi group. The document was given to the Guardian by a businessman who has been working for ISIS. He has also provided 30 other documents containing secret information, including a financial statement from one of the largest provinces of the Islamic State.

The document demonstrates that in spite of violent Islam rules implemented by ISIS, the newcoming state has to follow more sensible principles such as commerce, education, natural resources organization, health, jobs and communication. It also includes provisions on how to arrange military and training camps for veteran combatants and regular troops; the veterans would refresh their skills once a year and regulars would receive instructions in the latest arts of using weaponry. Such thorough preparation for state building shows that now ISIS is a bit more than just a sum of its fighters. The manual should have been implemented after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared an Iraqi-Syrian caliphate.

According to the document, the department managing military camps is required to give the soldiers information on how to overpower the enemy and is recommended to arrange regular army so that it might success even more than the al-Qaida in Afghanistan during the time of 9/11 attacks.

The revealed document discloses for the first time ever that ISIS has always been plotting to use trained children in the arts of war: this year’s propaganda clearly demonstrates that the children have been trained to shoot captives. It was reported that the propaganda targeted children’s arm training somewhere in the middle of 2014; the preparation included training on bearing light arms and security assignments such as patrols or checkpoints.

“The text highlights the need for Isis to achieve a unified culture encompassing foreigners and natives and sets out the need for self-sufficiency by establishing its own independent “factories for local military and food production” and creating “isolated safe zones” for providing for local needs,” Malik assumes.

Despite some Sunni Muslims claimed that ISIS’ statecraft might be effective in the name only, it was reported that the manual clearly demonstrated the state’s engagement to govern.

Malik cites retired Gen Stanley McChrystal: “If the west sees Isis as an almost stereotypical band of psychopathic killers, we risk dramatically underestimating them. In the Principles in the administration of the Islamic State, you see a focus on education (really indoctrination) beginning with children but progressing through their ranks, a recognition that effective governance is essential, thoughts on their use of technology to master information (propaganda), and a willingness to learn from the mistakes of earlier movements. It’s not a big departure from the works of Mao, the practices of the Viet Minh in Indochina, or other movements for whom high-profile actions were really just the tip of a far more nuanced iceberg of organising activity.”

It is believed that the manual proves the predetermination of the Islamic State for building a deeply calculated political organization with an extremely complex, well-planned infrastructure, says senior researcher for Georgia State University.

It is very important to assure that real Sunni Arabs are getting wider control over the region in order not to let ISIS, who is claiming to be the only true representative of Sunnis in the region, grab the territory. Malik gives a quote of former head of UK special forces: “Seeing Daesh [Isis] and the caliphate as simply a target to be systematically broken by forces other than Middle Eastern Sunnis … is to fail to understand this fight. It must be led by the Sunni Arab leadership and its many tribes across the region, with us in the west and the other religious factions in the Middle East acting in support. It is not currently how we are shaping the present counter-Isis campaign, thereby setting ourselves up for potential failure.”

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