Saudi-style religious police now patrol the area of Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A picture of a minivan belonging to the terrorist group's religious police was posted Monday on a Twitter account called "Al Dawala al-Islamiya."
Arabic script saying "al-Hisba" was visible on the vehicle. The name is used by a newly established committee in Syria. It exists to enforce the group's rigid interpretation of Islamic law.
In Saudi Arabia, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is known for patrolling the streets enforcing dress codes and a strict separation of men and women. It also beats people who have alcohol and forces people to pray.
"Thanks to Allah, we were able to equip the al-Hisba car and we were able to enforce the Sharia, and to promote the virtue and prevent the vice, and we were able to take out three shrines that being worshiped instead of Allah," ISIS said on its Twitter account.
ISIS has been besieged by rival jihadist and secular rebel factions. It was denounced last month by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said ISIS had no connection with his terrorist movement.
Another Twitter account belonging to an al-Qaida supporter said the minivan came from Raqqa, a Syrian city controlled by ISIS.
"This al-Hisba car urges praying and promoting virtue, and the prevention of vice. You will die from your rage. You enemies of sharia," the supporter wrote.
Al-Hisba is believed to be involved in enforcing the submission treaty that ISIS recently imposed on Syrian Christians, requiring them to pay the jizya tax and avoid non-Islamic behavior outside their churches.
Reports abound of similar actions having been taken by other Islamist factions since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011.
The Free Syrian Army's Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo reportedly had a similar police force in a December 2012 report in Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper. It said the FSA commanders banned women from driving, and that a YouTube video showed a prominent member of Saudi Arabia's virtue police calling Muslims to prayer.