ISIS’s Bureaus (Diwan), between structures of a state and sources to make money

ISIS’s Bureaus (Diwan), between structures of a state and sources to make money

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Bureaus (Diwan as it’s called in Arabic) represent an alternative form for ministries in modern countries. Bureaus spread in cities controlled by ISIS. Ministries or bureaus responsibilities are organizing and sharing tasks among them in order to reach a state of stability and progress.

As a result of ISIS’s interest in propaganda, and its claims of being a real state, the terrorist group gave priority to these bureaus and made several video reports to explain their structure and the way they work. ISIS claims that these bureaus have been created to serve the people who live in the group’s area of control.

ISIS divided the ministries and gave them different names:

Bayt AL-mal (House of wealth) or Diwan Al-Zakat:

Basically, imports of this Diwan are from Zakat, in addition to taxes laid upon shops and houses.
Not all imports are exclusively money, the Diwan also reap goods coming from confiscation of a section of goods entering cities or transiting group’s area of control. War gains are also kept in this Diwan.
However, profits of Bayt Al-mal go only to militants’ families and not shared with poor people. So the basic job of this Diwan appears to be confiscation money from civilians and hand it to members of the group.


This is one of the most major departments in ISIS’s structure. And the most spread one among people. Hosba is responsible for monitoring violations committed by civilians according to the group’s own rules, such as Sharia clothing, smoking and other violations.
Hosba assesses fines on these violations, starting from ten thousand Syrian pounds down to two hundred thousand Syrian pounds.
Hosba is the richest department ISIS has, making it the focus of attention to greedy princes of the group. It was stolen many times by its officers who fled outside the group’s area of control. The estimated amount of cash stolen from Hosba is approximately 50 million dollars.

Real Estate Diwan:

This is a new Diwan. It is created to regulate sale, purchase and rent in cities, as ISIS lays taxes upon these operations. Collecting taxes from shops and houses is another responsibility for this department.
It is also responsible for confiscating houses. Owners of these houses are people who escaped from ISIS’s controlled cities, wanted people by ISIS and even Christians, Yezidiz or Kurds. These houses are given to ISIS militants.

Health Diwan:

ISIS claims that this Diwan is responsible for hospitals and health centers in order to serve medical needs of civilians and to secure them with medication, but the fact is different. Actually this department is responsible for confiscating clinics and medical equipments belong to doctors fled group’s controlled cities.
Health Diwan forced remaining doctors to do a part time job at the group’s hospitals and health centers for free, but these centers do not provide free services to civilians. The Diwan cancelled free treatment system and putted a price for each medical case. Based on that, all hospitals’ profits go to the group.

Education Diwan:

The most important role of this Diwan is to replace the previous curriculums in Syria and Iraq with a new one belongs to the terrorist group.
Education is obligatory but not free, each student should pay 10 dollars. Children are taught jihadi books and trained to use arms.
New “faked” colleges were established. These colleges have no real presence, such as faculty of medicine in Raqqa City and another one in AL-Mayadeen city eastern Deir Ezzor.
These colleges took 250 dollars from every student as a registration fee, yet they show no results so far, despite of these colleges have been established for more than one year.

Services Diwan:

It is the same as a municipal. It is concerned with cities cleanness, deportation of garbage, water, electricity and other services. Workers do not receive fixed salaries, ISIS forced them to continue working and gave them small rewards every now and then from Bayt Al-mal (House of wealth).

There are several other bureaus, such as Soldiers Diwan which is specialized in recruiting fighters, Islamic Police which monitors the militants and Embassies which receive fighters coming from other cities or countries. These bureaus responsibilities are small till now and they form sub departments for other bureaus. In fact, ISIS gives attention to departments which bring more money.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".