The Islamic State's Diwan al-Rikaz in Mosul
01 August 2015
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
As I have shown from prior documentary evidence, the Islamic State's Diwan
al-Rikaz is a department of bureaucracy concerned with 'precious resources'
primarily of two types: fossil fuels and antiquities. For instance, the Diwan
al-Rikaz deals with crude oil purchase receipts, the leasing of gasoline
stations, distributions of gas fuel for locals and permission slips for the
excavation of (non-idolatrous) artifacts, which are then usually sold off on
the black market. Below is Mosul-based Omar Fawaz's account of the Diwan al-Rikaz.
Perhaps the most important observation to draw here is the Islamic State's
co-optation of existing factories and production facilities for a variety of
products (not just oil and gas, but also e.g. soft drinks, cement and
plastic) under the Diwan al-Rikaz, likely on the same pattern as the Diwan
al-Khidamat's co-optation of services offices whereby employees are compelled
to return to work under threat of confiscation of homes. Indeed, the
production of ice in factories (mentioned below) has been advertised
elsewhere in official Islamic State propaganda, without mention of the Diwan
Below is the account translated by me.
#Land of the Caliphate
Al-Rikaz is all that God has planted in the earth from metals, treasures and
rocks. As for Diwan al-Rikaz in the Islamic State, the issue has been
broadened to cover three divisions: oil resources, metal resources and
vehicles. And it has been made to cover all production and manufacturing
facilities present in the land of the Caliphate, whether from the path of
transportation or oversight.
Since I have dedicated my time to bring the truth to you, God blessed me to
meet with one of the officials in the Diwan al-Rikaz of the Mosul area, and
he spoke to me about the Diwan's accomplishments. I will outline some of them
for you in the points below:
1. After the Diwan's operation for 10 months it has managed to cover the
expenditures and needs of the state such that also with thanks to God it has
brought the state to 60% complete self-sufficiency, and this ratio may be
considered surprising but for those interested in the economic aspect, for
this young state has been able to attain what the Safavid government could
not attain during 11 years.
2. Operating a number of vital factories of which the most important are:
Ocean factory for making bottles of water, carbonated drinks and juices (al-Basha
formerly), textile factory, a number of ice factories (molds and cubes),
plastics factory (cylinders/pipes and tubes), a factory to produce cars' oil,
mid-size factories to refine oil (to avoid Crusader bombing).
3. Reopening of the public company for domestic furniture, which helps the
Muslim populaces (especially those about to get married) through the selling
of furniture in competitive allotments and prices.
4. Operating the Badush cement factory at mid-power to meet the needs of the
Muslim populaces and service diwans of the Islamic State for cement. On
average 1200 tons are produced daily, with one ton costing $100.
5. Similarly the Diwan al-Rikaz is entrusted with transportation for selling
and buying oil products (gasoline, fuel and gas) inside the land of the
Caliphate, and even dealing outside the land of the Caliphate, in addition to
oversight of and inspecting owners of fuel stations, especially mobile
stations, which the Diwan is determined to get rid of, limiting circulation
of fuel to official stations (government and civil).
6. The aim of opening the Diwan for production facilities, companies and
factories is to provide employment opportunities for Muslim youth and to
support the Islamic State materially from the earth's resources just as
manufacturing and economic activity are among the most important reasons for
victory over foreign hegemony.