ISIS Improving Public Services in an Effort to Build Public Support

Since the Islamic State overran the Iraqi city of Mosul last June, jihadis have not only imposed strict laws — like cutting off hands for smoking cigarettes — but installed and administered to basic public services.

“Mosul is now cleaner. The IS group wants to be seen as an administration capable of looking after the city and a month ago, the group began a campaign to clean, pave and light the city streets,” reports Niqash. ”The city is now 90 percent safe,” according to source inside Mosul who spoke with Niqash. “The only source of real concern are air bombardments by the international coalition.”

One year after capturing vital territory and 10 months after the U.S. began striking militant strongholds, details have emerged about the group’s extensive bureaucracy.

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In Syria, the Islamic State ”fixed power lines, dug sewage systems and painted sidewalks,” reports The New York Times. The group is trying to make the population dependent on its services, entrenching itself into society.

U.S. Army Sgt. Alex J. Plitsas addressed Baghdad’s administration issues in 2008, saying the provision of essential services would ensure residents’ loyalty. ”He who is able to fix the public utilities holds the keys to the kingdom in terms of winning the support of the Iraqi people and ultimately ending this conflict,” he said.

To make life appear normal under the Islamic State, jihadis refurbished a five-star Mosul hotel, boasting a swimming pool, gardens and two restaurants. The hotel also provides three free nights for newly-married couples, according to the NYT.

The Islamic State seeks to impose an extremist, Sunni Islamic government on the territories it controls. Under Islamic State guidelines, men must grow beards and women must be heavily veiled, only allowed to leave the house if accompanied by a man. But children under terror rule are especially vulnerable.

“These children will become a foundation for truly devastating violence in the future because they’re seeing terrible acts – like beheadings, amputations, stonings and people being thrown from high buildings,” Saeed Muhsen, a local researcher, told Niqash.

Islamic State jihadis kidnap children and subject them to militant training. New school curriculum reinforces the group’s extremist ideas.

The terror group “got rid of the tyranny of the Arab rulers,” according to an anonymous source who spoke to the NYT. Residents have become accustomed to militant governance,  and if they follow the rules, Islamic State fighters leave them alone.

 

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