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The Islamic State leadership in Mosul
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi • Oct 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm
The much publicised offensive pushing towards Mosul is finally underway, involving a broad array of forces including Peshmerga, Iraqi army forces, Iraqi special forces, tribal fighters and some Shi'i militias. For its part, the Islamic State's coverage of these events takes two notable forms. First, there is heavy, granular coverage on the military frontlines via its auxiliary agency Amaq News, giving an impression of steadfast resistance. The Islamic State's defences seem to rely heavily on suicide bombers to stop the advancing forces. On the first day alone, Amaq News claimed 12 suicide bombing operations, followed by at least 4 such attacks on the second day of operations. The other strand of messaging paints a picture of normal life in Mosul city itself, which, after all, is still far removed from the actual frontlines for now.
The anti-Islamic State activist group and reporting team Sound and Picture, which has local sources in Mosul, has produced a list of names constituting the Islamic State leadership in the Mosul area (constituting the Islamic State's Wilayat Ninawa), more or less following the system of Islamic State administration that exists on the basis of the the various diwans (departments) and other offices and admin bodies that have been established since the announcement of the Caliphate in 2014. I have translated it in the form of the numbered list below, with some explanatory notes of my own in square brackets where necessary.
What is most apparent from the list is that the leadership is mostly Iraqi and local to Ninawa province. This fits in with the wider picture of the Islamic State organization within Iraq as showing a much greater preponderance of Iraqis in the leadership, administration and rank-and-file: something which is very clear in the documentary evidence I have looked at, whereas muhajireen- foreigners- seem to feature more prominently at least in the Islamic State administration in Syria, even if not the majority. Further, the organization has strong local roots within Ninawa province, having embedded itself as an underground mafia network for years before the fall of Mosul city in summer 2014. Indeed, it is reasonable to expect a reversion to this modus operandi if/when Mosul is retaken by Iraqi forces.
Translation with Notes
1. Abu Awf al-Maslawi- Hamad Ahmad Ibrahim al-Ta'i, the wali of Wilayat Ninawa [provincial governor], who has been living in a number of places, the last of them al-Insha'at neighbourhood.
2. Abu Faysal- Muhammad Ibrahim Abdullah Lahibi- deputy wali of Wilayat Ninawa- present in Arabi neighbourhood.
3. Abu Abdullah- Hussein Saleh al-Juburi [Juburi is a local name in Ninawa province, though notably also occurs in other parts of Iraq]- official of the security office, present in al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood [this neighbourhood, whose name means 'The Engineers', was remained 'al-Mu'mineen'- 'the believers'- by the Islamic State].
4. Abu Abdullah- Abd al-Hameed Ali Muhammad al-Sha'abani- official of military manufacturing and explosives [tied to military development department, see below]. Lives in al-Zara'i neighbourhood.
5. Abu Azzam- Abd al-Aziz Hussein Taha al-Khatuni [Khatuni is a local name]- official of the Islamic police, lives in al-Aamel neighbourhood.
6. Abu Faris- Salim Abbas al-Juburi- official of the Bayt al-Mal [financial treasury] and oil incomes- lives in al-Zara'i neighbourhood.
7. Abu Ibrahim- Muhammad Saleh al-Khatuni- the Diwan al-Jund [military department] official in Wilayat Ninawa- lives in 17 Tamuz neighbourhood [17 July neighbourhood- named for the 1968 revolution that cemented the Iraqi Ba'ath Party's control of Iraq - was renamed al-Fath- 'the conquest'- neighbourhood by Islamic State, undoubtedly celebrating the conquest of Mosul by the Islamic State].
8. Abu Muhammad 'Ilam [note nicknames of officials sometimes follow the departments they head: so here 'Abu Muhammad Media']- Falah Hassan Hussein al-Juburi- official of the media office for Wilayat Ninawa. Lives in al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood.
9. Abu Arwa- Mahmoud Fathi- the Diwan al-Zakat [Zakat taxation] official in Wilayat Ninawa. Lives in al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood.
10. Waleed/Abu Mandhar, Khalid Mo'ayyed al-Kasasbeh [names indicates he is Jordanian], the Diwan al-Ta'aleem official, lives in al-Masarif neighbourhood.
11. Abu Salah- Falah Hassan al-Daba'- the general official for Wilayat Ninawa [heading an Islamic State admin body known as al-Idarat al-Aama- 'The General Administration'], lives in 17 Tamuz neighbourhood.
12. Abu Omar- Faris Ahmad Hassan Obeid al-Mo'amari- the assistant of Abu Salah the general official- lives in al-Yarmouk neighbourhood.
13. Abu Taha- Nawaf Hassan Muhammad al-Badrani- amir of the Diwan al-Hisba [Islamic morality enforcement, closely tied to Islamic police] in the wilaya, lives in al-Nour neighbourhood.
14. Abu Anas- Hussam Salem Sultan- assistant in the Diwan al-Tatwir al-Askari [military development department], lives in al-Sadiq neighbourhood.
15. Abu Riyadh- Abd al-Hameed Ahmad al-Juburi- the Diwan al-Zara'a [agricultural department] official in Wilayat Ninawa, lives in 17 Tamuz neighbourhood.
16. Abu Aymenn- Fathi Muhammad Fathi al-Jawari- the Diwan al-Khidamat [services] official in the wilaya, lives in al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood.
17. Abu Mandhar/Haqawi- Haqi Ismail Muhammad al-Hadid- official for connection between the offices of the wilaya, lives in 17 Tamuz neighbourhood.
18. Abu Ajeel- Daham Ajeel al-Matyuti [Matyuti is a local name in the Mosul area]- the Diwan al-Asha'ir [tribal outreach department] official- lives in al-Tanak neighbourhood.
19. Abu Aymenn- Sa'ad Fathi al-Rashidi- official for taking bay'as [allegiance pledges]- lives in Arabi neighbourhood.
20. Abu Shibeeb- Ala' Mustafa Abdullah al-Mu'amari- the Diwan al-Aqarat [real estate department: sometimes comes under the judiciary Diwan al-Qada wa al-Madhalim, but sometimes classified as its own department in Islamic State admin documents] official, lives in al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood.
21. Abu Hajer/Abu Sinan- Muhammad Hazem Aziz al-Aqidi- an important man in Da'esh [derogatory for Islamic State], lives in al-Wahda neighbourhood.
22. Abu al-Waleed- Omar Ahmad Khatab al-Juburi- an important man in Da'esh, lives in Hamam al-Alil [a village in Ninawa province to the south of Mosul city].
23. Abu Mazen- Omar Saleh Khidr al-Hadid- an important man in Da'esh, lives in al-Insha'at neighbourhood.
24. Abu Akram- Ali Muhannad Ahmad- an important man in Da'esh- from the inhabitants of al-Muhandiseen neighbourhood.
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