Who does not remember how the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) has destroyed the antiquities of Mosul and other Iraqi cities years ago, the scene and videos that were filmed at the time are still gripping the hearts of all Iraqis.
However, the "Treasure Trove" of information that fell into the hands of the Iraqi security, according to what the intelligence service announced last week, revealed many secrets about the terrorist organization that terrorized millions.
One of the most important leaders of ISIS in Iraq, called (Taha Abdul Rahim Abdullah Bakr Al-Ghassani), nicknamed "Abdul Nasser Al-Qardash", revealed many facts about the terrorist organization.
The owner of the idea of uniting Iraq and Syria under the banner of ISIS, is considered a black box carrying treasures of information.
Maybe, subsequent investigations with "Al-Qardash" would be useful for what the detainee will discover to the intelligence about the organization's operating mechanisms, where he was one of its most important leaders one day.
Moreover, in a dialogue with the European Center for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies, a few days ago, Al-Qardash revealed what is considered the economic weight of the terrorist organization, its profit returns and its source of funding.
The Islamic State leader stated in his speech, that the organization tried to transfer the antiquities it had looted from the areas of its control to Europe to sell them, but it failed after 4 big attempts, especially the antiquities of Syria, it is registered within the world heritage and is known, so it found no solution but to go to the option of destroying them and punishing who trades with them.
The words of Al-Qardash open the wounds of 2015, when ISIS published a video clip on the Internet, showing its fighters in northern Iraq destroying a group of precious statues and sculptures dating back to the Assyrian era thousands of years ago.
In the video, broadcast on what was then known as the "Nineveh Media Office", ISIS destroyed artifacts, some of which date back to the Assyrian civilization, which prevailed in Iraq in the seventh century BC. At that time, ISIS operatives threw the pieces' bases on the ground to destroy them, and others used hammers to break them.
After the video that shocked the world with its ugliness, a former employee at the Mosul Museum reported that the statues that were destroyed are those in the famous museum in the northern Mosul city of Iraq which the organization occupied years ago.
While experts said at the time, the ruins include original pieces, and others that were rebuilt from pieces scattered, in addition to copies of original pieces found in other museums.
The pieces include relics from the Assyrian and Parthian periods, some of which date back to before the birth of Christ.
It is noteworthy that the Assyrians are one of the oldest Christian denominations in the Middle East, and they were one of the oldest religious minorities that had taken northern Iraq as their main habitat.
The famous video of the smashing sparked a worldwide condemnation for the atrocity committed by the terrorist organization ISIS, as the United Nations and its cultural and humanitarian organizations, centers, museums and academies have condemned the demolition and bulldozing of the Assyrian civilization under the control of the terrorist organization “ISIS” by ISIS terrorists, which dates back to 3,000 BC, and consider it war crimes.
Also in the context, the European Union's coordinator for Counter-Terrorism, Gilles De Kerchove, expressed his conviction in Paris a few days ago that a large number of artifacts stolen during the ISIS control of large parts of Syria and Iraq are still hidden in the region, pending sale later.
De Kerchove said during a press conference: "I am convinced that much of what has been stolen is still stored in the vicinity of Syria and Iraq, pending a decline in interest, to put these pieces on the market at (auctions) Christie's or Sotheby's within six to seven years."
De Kerchove, who confirms that he has studied this issue in depth, pointed out that countering the smuggling of antiquities is a difficult task, because "many who buy these pieces do not realize that they finance terrorism."
He stated that the person who buys antiques "has the impression that he is serving the humanity by protecting a wonderful piece from destruction by savages."
It is noteworthy that the Antiquities Law of Iraq No. 55 of 2002 provides for the death penalty for anyone who steals or harms antiquities.
ISIS took control of the city of Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq and the center of Nineveh Governorate, in an attack launched in July of 2014, before it has lost it by the entry of Iraqi forces in July of 2017.
PUKmedia / Agencies