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The State That ISIS Built

When it's not waging war, ISIS operates a complex bureaucracy that oversees daily life inside its territories.

By Jake Godin, Elizabeth Hagedorn | September 3, 2015

How ISIS operates. 

The state (caliphate) is made up of provinces (wilayats). Each province has a governor (wali). Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi runs the caliphate. To his followers, he's known as Caliph Ibrahim. 

Under Baghdadi are two governing bodies: the Sharia (Religious) Council and the Shura (Advisory) Council. Other councils act like departments and oversee everyday life, including education, health care, taxes and even filling potholes.

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The Islamic State can govern its "state." But peel away the propaganda, and life isn't so pretty.

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