It was there that the "Lord of the Shadows," as some called him, sketched out the structure of the Islamic State, all the way down to the local level, compiled lists relating to the gradual infiltration of villages and determined who would oversee whom. Using a ballpoint pen, he drew the chains of command in the security apparatus on stationery. Though presumably a coincidence, the stationery was from the Syrian Defense Ministry and bore the letterhead of the department in charge of accommodations and furniture.
What Bakr put on paper, page by page, with carefully outlined boxes for individual responsibilities, was nothing less than a blueprint for a takeover. It was not a manifesto of faith, but a technically precise plan for an "Islamic Intelligence State" -- a caliphate run by an organization that resembled East Germany's notorious Stasi domestic intelligence agency.
This makes a fascinating companion to Graeme Wood's piece in the Atlantic on the fanatical religiosity of the Islamic State's rank and file. If Reuter is right, the Islamic State is not at a religious construction at its heart, but a totalitarian police state with a religious veneer.
Whatever the mix of religious and secular motives in its founding, by combining fanatical Islam with Saddam Hussein's police methods the Islamic State has truly created the worst of all possible worlds.