The Case of the Purloined Poultry: How ISIS Prosecuted Petty Crime

Source: The New York Times

By Rukmini Callimachi

TEL KAIF, Iraq — The crime scene was Stall No. 200 in a market eight miles north of Mosul, Iraq.

It was there that Zaid Imad Khalaf, 24, made a living selling chickens, scraping by next to a grocer who sold onions by the kilogram and a trader who sold flour by the scoop.


And it was there that an Islamic State soldier, one of the thousands who ruled the plains of northern Iraq, walked by and pointed to Mr. Imad’s plumpest chicken. “That one,” he said.

Mr. Imad butchered the bird, plucked it, weighed it and then asked for the 8,000 dinars he was owed, around $7. That’s when the problems started. “When he went to pull the money from his pocket he said that he only had 4,000 dinars and said he would pay me the rest tomorrow,” Mr. Imad recalled.

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