The ISIS Files: Policing as Rebel Governance- The Islamic State Police

Wed, 21 April, 2021 10:00am - 11:30am
The ISIS Files- Policing as Rebel Governance: The Islamic State Police Event Banner


On April 21, 2021, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University published a new report authored by Beatrice de Graaf and Ahmet S. Yayla based on a trove of primary source documents. The report is available on The ISIS Files digital repository, an online collection of primary source materials launched by The Program on Extremism in partnership with the GW Libraries and Academic Innovation and The New York Times. The report, Policing as Rebel Governance: The Islamic State Police, is part of a series of thematic papers examining different facets of the Islamic State's rule during the Caliphate phase.  

To accompany the release of the report, the Program on Extremism hosted a virtual panel to discuss the Islamic State's use of a substantial, administratively cohesive, operable police organization that took care of ‘ordinary’ public order and law enforcement tasks—the Islamic State Police (shurta). The panelists shed light on this little-covered but vital governing body, one that helped ISIS’ efforts to generate and sustain public authority and legitimacy in its mission to exert rule. The discussion, moderated by Program on Extremism Director of Strategic Initiatives & Senior Research Fellow Devorah Margolin, featured:

  • Beatrice de Graaf, author of the report, Chair of History of International Relations & Global Governance at Utrecht University, and author of Evaluating Counterterrorism Performance
  • Ahmet S. Yayla, author of the report and Director of the Center for Homeland Security and Assistant Professor of Homeland Security at DeSales University

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