Homeland Security

ISIS Touts Nearly Half of Its Provinces Being Outside Iraq and Syria

The Islamic State claims a total of 35 provinces worldwide under their control — 16 of those “wilayats” outside of Iraq and Syria — in a new video detailing the organizational structure of the terror group.

Three known ISIS provinces are in Libya, one is in the Sinai, and one is in Algeria. There are known ISIS areas claimed in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Caucasus. The area of Nigeria controlled by Boko Haram was turned into a province after the terror group proclaimed its loyalty to ISIS. It was unclear by the video whether ISIS was counting territory where it’s trying to establish a province, such as Bangladesh, or counting each of the six sub-provinces it claims in Yemen as a province.

ISIS has placed a heavy focus on expansion as coalition forces target its base in Syria and Iraq.

The video opens with the words of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who was killed in 2010, exhorting followers to “not allow the fruit to be lost.”

It shows an organizational chart with the caliph at the top and the Delegated Committee and Shura Council underneath. Three branches are shown under the Delegated Committee with the Committees and Offices, the Wilayat and the Dawawin.

The caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is the one who “upholds and spreads the religion,” “defends the homeland,” “fortifies the fronts,” “prepares the armies,” “implements the hudud [Sharia punishments],” and “enforces the people’s adherence to Sharia rulings.”

The Shura Council, an advisory body, is composed of “upright individuals” who are “cognizant, administratively skilled and knowledgeable,” according to ISIS.

The body in charge of the Wilayat governs those in ISIS provinces “and refers serious matters to the Delegated Committee,” the video states. “The needs of the people are met. Justice is thereby secured.” A special department within the Committees and Offices branch oversees ISIS provinces outside of Iraq and Syria.

Dawawin are departments called “places for protecting rights” that “protect the people’s religion and security” and “assume the maintenance of public interests.” The Diwan of Judgment and Grievances with a “sufficient number of judges” is “responsible for clarifying the Sharia rulings,” and “enforcing the Sharia rulings in matters of wealth, family and marriage-related issues, blood.”

In the Diwan of Hisbah, the video shows a man being flogged and then hugging the guy with the whip. A steamroller crushes confiscated satellite dishes. Their job is “forbidding vice,” “commanding virtue,” and “holding them to account based on the Sharia.”

The Diwan of Dawah and Masajid is “preparing and appointing imams and preachers” and “holding preparatory seminars and Sharia courses,” while the Diwan of Zakah is the tax collector.

Then there’s the Diwan of Soldiery charged with “management of wars,” “guarding the frontlines,” “planning and making the necessary preparations for raids,” “dispatching divisions, brigades and battalions,” and “providing the caliphate’s army with trained personnel.” The Diwan of Public Security is tasked with “safeguarding internal public security in the Islamic State” and “protecting it from anything that would disrupt it” including “waging war against infiltration and against any spy networks.”

The Diwan of Treasury is responsible for Islamic State cashflow including managing oil revenue, while the Diwan of Media puts out official publications such as Dabiq magazine. The Diwan of Education, ISIS states, is “responsible for propelling the wheel of knowledge.” There are also Diwans of Health, Agriculture and Rikaz (natural resources). The Diwan of Fay and Ghanaim manages and allocates state assets, from military hardware to the ubiquitous ISIS pickup trucks, while the Diwan of Services is the public utilities department.

The Committees and Offices are “comprised of specialized personnel” with “authorities concerned with various matters,” like the Hijrah Committee that urges immigration to the Islamic State and processes new arrivals. Another committee “seeks to rescue” detained members from captivity and “looks after” families of slain ISIS fighters. There’s a research office tasked with Sharia investigations and preparing reports. And there’s a public relations office focusing on tribal outreach in and around Islamic State territory.

For all the bureaucratic, Power Point-nature of the presentation, it ends with a gory montage of ISIS battle clips and beheadings.