ISIS fatwa will allow harvesting of organs from living 'apostates'
This sounds so incredible that if it was any other group, you might question whether it was created by the U.S. for propaganda purposes.
But this fatwa, which allows the Islamic State to remove organs from living people who aren't Muslim, was discovered in a raid following the targeted assassination of ISIS financier Abu Sayyaf and has been shared with other governments.
Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the authenticity of the document. U.S. officials say it was among a trove of data and other information obtained by U.S. special forces in a raid in eastern Syria in May.
"The apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and may be taken with impunity," says the document, which is in the form of a fatwa, or religious ruling, from the Islamic State’s Research and Fatwa Committee.
"Organs that end the captive's life if removed: The removal of that type is also not prohibited," Fatwa Number 68 says, according to a U.S. government translation.
The document does not offer any proof that Islamic State actually engages in organ harvesting or organ trafficking. But it does provide religious sanction for doing so under the group's harsh interpretation of Islam - which is rejected by most Muslims. Previously, Iraq has accused Islamic State of harvesting human organs and trafficking them for profit.
The document does not define “apostate,” though the Islamic State has killed or imprisoned non-Muslims, such as Christians, and Shiite Muslims, as well as Sunni Muslims who don't follow its extremist views.
U.S. officials say the records that were seized have given the U.S. government a deep look into how Islamic State organizes, raises funds and codifies laws for its followers.
Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, told Reuters the documents should be examined by the U.N. Security Council as evidence that Islamic State could be trafficking in organs to raise cash.
Trafficking in human body parts is extremely profitable. Just ask Planned Parenthood. When you can get hundreds of thousands of dollars for a kidney, or a heart, or a lung, it's a pretty good incentive to use captured infidels as cash machines.
But the question lingers: do they have the know-how and capability to engage in trafficking? It's unlikely that there are any organ transplants in ISIS land, given the rudimentary nature of their medical facilities, so the expertise to carefully remove organs for transplant probably isn't present.
But it doesn't take a lot of medical training to dissect a body. While that rules out major organs like the heart and liver as being sold on the market, you can find buyers for hair, blood, bones and other less delicate body parts and still make a lot of money.
In short, it's more than possible that this fatwa is operational and being used by ISIS to raise cash.