A purportedly leaked document outlines the “blueprint” for the establishment of the Islamic State.
The document, which appeared on the Guardian website Monday, was reportedly composed last year and is not the usual call to rise up against those the so-called Islamic State group sees as infidels —Western governments, Shiite Muslims, Christians and anyone else who doesn’t adopt their Islamist ideology.
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Titled “Principles”, according to the Guardian, it lays out how the Islamic State group (IS) would function as a government and details policies on health care, education, natural resources and even foreign relations.
“Indeed external relations are key to knowing the international politics surrounding the Islamic State, and alliances should be as a guarantee of force and leverage that the Islamic leadership can use in all its matters with the external world,” the document reads.
The Guardian reported a 23-year-old researcher named Aymenn al-Tamimi acquired the document from a businessman living in the Islamic State.
The 24-page document, written in Arabic but translated to English by the Guardian, was one of 30 obtained by the publication that create a “picture of a group that, although sworn to a founding principle of brutal violence, is equally set on more mundane matters.”
IS has carried out horrific atrocities against minority groups and adversaries in Iraq and Syria and in the past six weeks, has claimed responsibility for, or served as the inspiration for, terrorist attacks in Egypt, France, Lebanon and the United States.
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The document also outlines how IS will manage its wealth and resources for the so-called caliphate it declared in the swathes of territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria. IS declared the formation of a caliphate in June 2014; It’s believed the document was composed between July and October of that year, the Guardian reported.
A new report from IHS Conflict Monitor estimates IS rakes in $80 million each month through the collection of levies, land and property confiscations, oil and gas smuggling, bank robberies, kidnapping ransoms, the sale of stolen antiquities, drug trafficking and money acquired through state-run businesses and small enterprises.
The so-called “blueprint” also details some of IS’ military plans, including the training of child soldiers, as well as its aggressive media operations, that glorify some of the group’s most brutal acts.
Some analysts believe this document serves to show IS’ state-building aspirations should be taken seriously.
“It seems a far cry from something produced by an organisation that routinely commits horrific acts of seemingly mindless brutality. And that may be the most chilling aspect. If the west sees [IS] as an almost stereotypical band of psychopathic killers, we risk dramatically underestimating them,” retired U.S. General Stanley McCrystal told the publication.
“Far from being an army of irrational, bloodthirsty fanatics, IS is a deeply calculating political organisation with an extremely complex, well-planned infrastructure behind it,” Charlie Winter, a senior research associate at Georgia State University, told the Guardian.