The commander who strode in sat facing the room, his leg splayed out so that everyone could see the pistol holstered to his thigh. For a moment, the only sounds were the hurried prayers of the civil servants mumbling under their breath.
Their fears proved unfounded. Though he spoke in a menacing tone, the commander had a surprisingly tame request: Resume your jobs immediately, he told them. A sign-in sheet would be placed at the entrance to each department. Those who failed to show up would be punished.
Meetings like this one occurred throughout the territory controlled by the Islamic State in 2014. Soon municipal employees were back fixing potholes, painting crosswalks, repairing power lines and overseeing payroll.
“We had no choice but to go back to work,” said Mr. Hamoud. “We did the same job as before. Except we were now serving a terrorist group.”
The disheveled fighters who burst out of the desert more than three years ago founded a state that was acknowledged by no one except themselves. And yet for nearly three years, the Islamic State controlled a stretch of land that at one point was the size of Britain, with a population estimated at 12 million people. At its peak, it included a 100-mile coastline in Libya, a section of Nigeria’s lawless forests and a city in the Philippines, as well as colonies in at least 13 other countries. By far the largest city under their rule was Mosul.
Interestingly though, there’s not much new here, as this sounds awfully similar to ISI between 2006-2010, with some improvements – a warning for the future… https://t.co/LE5G0ajipL pic.twitter.com/yH5sW2bOcL
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) April 5, 2018