ISIL tries to cut communications from Mosul to outside world
Militants from the Islamic State group blocked all mobile phone networks in the largest Iraqi city they control, Mosul, accusing informants in the city of tipping off coalition forces to their whereabouts, residents told The Associated Press on Thursday.They must be concerned about the targeted attacks by US and coalition partners. Intelligence operations may be able to play on this paranoia.
Residents described a scene of "chaos" and "paralysis" in the city Thursday, a day after the militants announced their decision on their Mosul-based radio network. Businesses were at a standstill as residents tried to understand what was happening, they said. Some are still able to access the Internet, which operates under a different network.
All residents spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The shutting down of phone lines is a notably switch from what has been the group's core strategy so far — focusing on providing services and establishing administration in areas it controls to win support of the locals. In parts of Syria under its control, the group now administers courts, fixes roads and even polices traffic. It recently imposed a curriculum in schools in its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa, scrapping subjects such as philosophy and chemistry, and fine-tuning the sciences to fit with its ideology.