Confession Of ISIS Mufti Shifa Al-Ni'ma: 'I Issued Fatwas Permitting Expulsion Of Christians From Mosul, Enslavement, Selling of Yazidi Women'

January 22, 2020

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On January 22, 2020, Iraq's supreme Judicial Council published a report detailing the confessions of Shifa Al-Ni'ma, a senior Islamic State (ISIS) cleric whose arrest was announced by security forces on January 16, 2020, in which he admitted to issuing multiple fatwas, including those permitting the expulsion of Christians from the city of Mosul as well as the sale and enslavement of Yazidi women.

According to the report, Al-Ni'ma stated that he graduated from Al-Madina Al-Monawarh University in Saudi Arabia in 1984, and went worked as a teacher in Al-Rashideen school in Ajman, UAE, for three months before returning to Iraq. He also admitted to taking part in fighting the Iraqi army and establishing armed factions such as Al-Mujahideen Army, The Army of Muhammad, and the Islamic Army. The report also says that A-Ni'ma issued multiple fatwas, including those permitting assassination and bombing operations against Iraqi security forces in Mosul in 2006 and 2007.

Al-Ni'ma also admitted to receiving funds for the mujahideen from a Mosul native residing in London named Abu Mustapha Al-Najmawi, and from a Saudi national named Abdallah Al-Ghonaiman. The report quotes Ni'ma saying: "In 2007, I travelled to Makkah to perform umrah [a lesser pilgrimage to Makkah undertaken at any time of year] and I met with the terrorist Abu Mustapha Al-Najmawi and he is a Mosul native who resided in London... we discussed religious topics and I explained to him the situation in Mosul and the details about the Iraqi forces and their affiliation with the Americans. We talked about the role of jihadi factions and he gave me $6,000 and asked that I spend it on armed groups. When I returned to Mosul, I met with members of armed groups and I distributed the money between them. In the same year, I went back again to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj and met with Al-Najmawi again and he introduced me to the so-called sheikh Abdallah Al-Ghonaiman who was a Saudi national who knew about me and my ideology and he gave me $4,000."

Al-Ni'ma's confession also includes founding the Abdallah Al-Ni'ma's school, where dozens of mujahideen studied, including one who would eventually become a bodyguard of the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Al-Ni'ma further confessed to urging young men to join ISIS, which he admitted to pledging fealty to in front of a senior ISIS cleric and judge, Saudi national named Al-Qahtani, repeating it in front of Abu Mu'taz Al-Afari.

Recounting his fatwas, Al-Ni'ma is quoted as saying: "I issued the fatwas that punish the citizens who don't go to mosques, a flogging fatwa for those who smoke cigarettes, and a fatwa requiring officials in the [Iraqi] security forces to obtain a repentant card and surrender their weapons. I also issued the fatwa requiring shop owners to pay zakat and the fatwa to expel Christians from Mosul and I permitted killing of Shi'ites and issued other fatwas in regard to allowing ISIS fighters to enslave Yazidi women and sell them and killing the Yazidi men. I also issued fatwas to confiscate houses of displaced people and permitted ISIS fighters to blow up mosques in Mosul which had graves of prophets and righteous people inside them, such as permitting the destruction of Mosque of Prophet Yunus in August 2014."

The report also mentions that Al-Ni'ma's sons, Abd Al-Bari and Abd Al-Hadi, were members of ISIS. The former was sentenced to death while the latter is currently serving a five-year prison sentence in Al-Sulaimaniyah, Iraq.

The report concludes by quoting Al-Ni'ma saying that he was hiding at his daughter's house in the Al-Muhandiseen neighborhood for two months, and when the Iraqi forces reached the Al-Muthanna area, he began moving to different areas until he was arrested in the Al-Mansour neighborhood.

Source:, January 22, 2020.

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