ISIS leader offers marriage grants to militants

ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a marriage grant to members who wish to wed

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Islamic State in Iraq and Syria chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared Muslim Caliph, has ordered a “grant” to members of the radical group who wish to to enter matrimony, according to reports quSyrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The grant includes housing and a sum of $1200, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

In July, ISIS, which advocates public stoning for adultery, opened a “marriage bureau” for women who want to wed the group’s fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq.

The militant group’s office reportedly operates from al-Bab, a town in Aleppo province of northern Syria, for “single women and widows who would like to marry ISIS fighters,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The monitoring group, citing residents, said interested parties were being asked to provide their names and addresses, “and ISIS fighters will come knocking at their door and officially ask for marriage."

Earlier in June, Residents of Baiji, an Iraqi town under the control of ISIS, said they were trying to keep unmarried women safe from attempts to wed them to the Sunni militants.

Residents said their worst fear came from ISIS fighters going door to door asking about the numbers of married and unmarried women in the house.

“They said that many of their mujahedin [fighters] were unmarried and wanted a wife. They insisted on coming into my house to look at the women’s ID cards [which in Iraq show marital status],” one woman told The Independent.

Earlier in August, captured women belonging to the Yazidi ethnic group were divided into groups of younger and older women, according to witnesses, and were not threatened to convert.

“They beg us…they promise us everything,” one of the women quoted by the Independent said. “They say they will give us houses and we will lead happy lives.”

Rumors circulating of the women being sexually enslaved and raped are largely untrue, the daily reported. When one guard was caught trying to grope a women in a location where the women were detained, his finger was cut off.

The group now controls large swathes of both Iraq and Syria and has targeted minority groups and forced some 200,000 people to flee.

In Raqqa, the Syrian city considered to be the stronghold of ISIS, the group has maintained a strict interpretation of Islamic law, boosted by weaponry seized in Iraq, the group has taken three Syrian military bases in the area in recent weeks.

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