ISIL “hisba” depends on self financing

Through our monitoring of ISIL’s financial affairs in Mosul, we noticed the following developments regarding the latest changes in Alhisba bureau practices:

December 16, 2015
ISIL cut its fighters salaries as follows: %25 for senior fighters and leaders, %35 for junior fighters and volunteers. The shrinking in ISIL’s salaries pushes ISIL fighters to form independent partnership with traders any way possible for higher financial gain. We have noticed the formation of such partner ships of ISIL fighters with money exchange dealers and goods exporters, and they demand high shares from traders to form those partnerships.

December 18, 2015:
A noticeable change occurred in Mosul’s Hisba bureau practices, where they started to monitor taxes and fines and reporting violations with fine penalties instead of monitoring the Shar’i violations. The citizens and business owners reported that Alhisba members are “busy writing violation receipts and distribute them to fine people with made up violations” to collect money from the citizens. This confirms the financial crisis ISIL is suffering and the drastic drop in its revenues.
Alhisba bureau has lightened its penalties and switched them to fines.

December 20, 2015:
A decrease in the number of volunteers; the head of the recruiting and volunteering mentioned that there is a withdrawal in the number of volunteers because of salary cuts and the differences in salaries according to the ranking of fighters based upon volunteers’ relation to senior or former fighters or upon the areas they come from, like the fighters from southern Mosul (Alqayyara and Hammam Ala’lil) or from Alba’aj, which they are paid high salaries, while other fighters do not get paid decent salaries. In addition, new volunteers are not willing to fight at the front lines as much as they are interested in filling administering positions. And still, ISIL started to send volunteers to the front lines in their first few days of joining the ranks, which have led to the decrease in the numbers of new local volunteers.

December 24, 2015:
ISIL transformed Alhisba bureau into a “self revenue generating entity” and the salaries it pays to its employees is collected by Alhisba through the taxes and fines ISIL imposes upon the citizens, and that is the reason behind the spiked increase of fines imposed by Alhisba upon the citizens of Mosul where Alhisba stopped imposing many of its penalties and switched to the financial penalties instead. They also started to “invent” new fines for many violations, especially upon women, and they are tightening upon men’s outfit, and new fines are imposed for “committing mistakes during prayers at mosques”.



  1. Dear mosuleye,
    I am following your blog since summer 2014 now and I am nothing but just a politically interested person feeling helpless and hurt in watching what kind of injustices are done to the people of Mosul and around.
    I’d like to express my respect and gratitude for your work of reporting from Mosul, for living the principle of freedom of thought without fear all this time. Since I can’t do much from here except of supporting all the refugees searching for shelter, I’d like to share with you a very old german song:
    May peace, respect, freedom and good community life for all citizens regardless of gender, color or religion come back to Mosul soon.
    Best wishes to a courageous historian from a german science woman.

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