Leaked documents may reveal the inner workings of the ISIS — but what if they are fake?

The Washington Post reports: If you want to really understand the Islamic State and go beyond the propaganda, looking at the militant group’s internal documents might be a good place to start. As the group expanded over the past year and attempted to turn into a functioning state, it released several internal orders and decrees that seek to organize this “caliphate.” These documents offer a glimpse of not only the way the Islamic State organizes but also the anxiety and disorder in the group that lies under the surface.

One example of this comes from documents that were recently revealed by Reuters and that appear to show the Islamic State decreeing who can have sex with captured enslaved women and who cannot. The documents showed that a bureaucracy appears to underpin even the most brutal acts committed by the group and hinted that some of the extreme behavior by its fighters led even the group’s own religious authorities to balk.

On the other hand, some experts believe that some purported Islamic State internal documents shared online are hoaxes, deliberately designed to deceive. These fakes are widespread enough that Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a young British analyst who has made a name for himself with his analysis of extremist activity, recently published his own “guide to Islamic State document hoaxes.” [Continue reading…]

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