like other ISIS members, was paid $100 per month, in U.S. greenbacks, not Syrian lira, despite the latter being the coin of the realm in al-Bab. Currency exchange houses exist in the city where ISIS employees can take their salaries for conversion, although they scarcely need to, given the freebies that come with ISIS employment.
"I rented a house, which was paid for by ISIS," Abu Khaled told me. "It cost $50 per month. They paid for the house, the electricity. Plus, I was married, so I got an additional $50 per month for my wife. If you have kids, you get $35 for each. If you have parents, they pay $50 for each parent. This is a welfare state."
"This is why a lot of people are joining," said Abu Khaled. "I knew a mason who worked construction. He used to get 1,000 lira per day. That's nothing. Now he's joined ISIS and gets 35,000 lira---$100 for himself, $50 for his wife, $35 for his kids. He makes $600 to $700 per month. He gave up masonry. He's just a fighter now, but he joined for the income."
No, man! It's Islam!
ISIS is absolutely paranoid about infiltration, and its wild dragnets for capturing fifth columnists and foreign agents seem premised on preemption rather than exposure. Fear must be maintained to keep people from so much as thinking of resistance. And in the frenzy, inevitably, ISIS devours some of its own.
So, they too, can only be distinguished by degree, not category, it seems.
But here on Slashdot, it's all about the wrong religion.. Ah well, carry on with the circle jerk, I guess. The whole planet wants play philosopher...