ISIS Food Inspectors in Raqqa

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Raqqa, Syria
November 2014

DISCLAIMER: This video was shot with the approval of ISIS and subjected to review and censorship before publication. The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of any claims or statements made in this video.

Footage shows members of the ISIS-run department of control and inspection at work. The video includes an interview with a member of the Control and Inspection Office, who says that the office monitors the quality of different food products and whether they have been produced according to Islamic law. It also includes an interview with a grocer. ISIS members are seen destroying what an announcer says are expired products.


Wide/ external of “Control and Inspection” office run by ISIS
Wide of Raqqa city and ISIS flags

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed ISIS Official
00:08 - 00:44
“The Control and Inspection office has been established in Wilayat [Province] of Raqqa. The office is divided into [two] departments; the first is the Health Inspection Department, whose task consists of inspecting food items and other supplies in the markets. The reports filed by this department are eventually given to the Islamic court. The Meat Department, on the other hand, inspects the quality of all kinds of meat that are being sold. All meat obtained from animals that have not been slaughtered at the slaughterhouse is confiscated; butchers who slaughter animals outside the slaughterhouse are punished.”

Wide of people inside Control and Inspection Office
Close-up of inspector filling in Control and Inspection report
Wide of motorcycles with plates that read “Control and Inspection”
Wide of two men driving away on motorbike with a plate that reads “Control and Inspection”
Wide of pickup truck carrying melons and watermelons
Wide of street and passersby
Various of inspectors examining packed food items inside a grocery store
Various of packed food items stocks
Close-up of ISIS official reports

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed grocery store owner
01:33 – 02:10
“Thanks be to God, and peace be upon God’s Messenger. The Islamic State has set an office for control and inspection, which has had a positive role. It has reminded Muslims of the Prophet’s saying: ‘He who cheats us is not one of us.’ However, a merchant might unintentionally forget certain items on the shelf. Other grocers deliberately leave [expired] merchandise in their shops. We advise them to fear God. We have seen that they [inspectors] – may God reward them – bring this issue to people’s attention. Whenever they find expired products for the first time, they issue a warning and destroy these products. May God reward them.”

Various of inspectors spraying writings saying that stores are being sealed for malpractice

NAT SOUND (Arabic) Announcement by ISIS member
02:26 – 03:12
“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate; thanks to be God, Lord of the worlds; and peace be upon God’s messenger. The Office of Control and Inspection, which is part of the Hisba [Islamic Police] department, has confiscated large amounts of spoiled, expired or badly stored goods, including foodstuff, grain legumes, detergents, beauty products and [UNINTELLGILBLE] products. These products were located in markets in Raqqa province and have an estimated value of 2 million Syrian pounds.
Now, we are going to destroy these products in this public square, in front of all the people. Thanks be to God, Lord of the worlds.”

Various of ISIS members destroying food and other items in public
Various of ISIS members unloading and burning boxes in a dumpster
Wide of clock tower covered with ISIS flag in central Raqqa
Various of ISIS traffic police
Various of workers removing garbage from the street