ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi security forces recently arrested five alleged Islamic State members in Mosul, once a capital of the terrorist organization’s sprawling self-proclaimed caliphate Iraq.
“Four of them were fighters in what is called the Diwan al-Jund when the terrorist gangs of Da’esh [ISIS] controlled the city of Mosul,” a statement from the ministry of interior alleged.
The Diwan al-Jund—literally, the Soldiers Department—is the Islamic State’s Department of the Army, which, at the time when the terrorist organization held vast amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria, was in charge of all military and defense affairs. The name was borrowed from, and the functions aimed to emulate, the early days of the Islamic religion’s rise to prominence and the eventual establishment of a cross-continental caliphate.
The fifth suspect was part of the al-Amniya, Arabic for security, according to the ministry. “In the past few days, he blackmailed a doctor and school headmaster and threatened to kill them.”
The statement explained that the arrestee had left the individuals letters with the aim of intimidating them into paying the Jizya tax, a yearly fee that has historically sometimes been levied on non-Muslims living in lands claimed by governments administered using Islamic law.
All five were captured in the eastern part of Mosul, on the left bank of the Tigris, read the statement. The Islamic State took control of Mosul in 2014 and held it as its de facto capital in Iraq for over two years.
Despite Baghdad declaring a “final victory” against the extremist organization in December 2017, the Islamic State continues to carry out sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings, in previously liberated areas like Mosul, and even in areas it never controlled such as the capital of Baghdad.
On Tuesday, health sources confirmed to Kurdistan 24 that three Iraqi soldiers had been killed and five more injured in an Islamic State ambush during an army search campaign in Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad.
On Monday, the terrorist group published a lengthy audio recording, declaring that it remains a force to be reckoned with even as it loses its last patch of territory in Syria.
In the dispatch, a spokesperson urged supporters to launch attacks in all the countries that took part in fighting his organization, invoking the recent bloody attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch that resulted in the deaths of 50 Muslims as a way to incite retaliatory violence.
Since late February, multiple bombings have taken place in the city, with one on March 8 causing the deaths of both a security force member and a teenage girl, initial reports suggested.
Editing by John J. Catherine