December 10, 2015 | Quote
How The Islamic State’s Policy Of Confiscations In The Caliphate Undermines The Anti-ISIS Coalition
The Islamic State group has the dubious distinction of being the “world’s richest terrorist organization.” It’s a category that Guinness World Records has yet to employ, but the group better known as ISIS has grown wealthy on the proceeds of oil and gas revenues, combined with a system of strict taxation and extortion of local populations via the so-called caliphate it declared last year.
The international campaign against ISIS has focused on cutting off its finances through a series of targeted bombings on oil refineries that are under the militants’ control in Iraq and Syria. But newly revealed internal financial documents from within ISIS territories indicate that this policy alone will not be enough to slash the group’s profits. That's because it now makes most of its money through a joint system of taxation and extortion, confiscating valuables from anyone who resides or passes through ISIS-controlled territory.
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told International Business Times that ISIS has a system “based on taxing [as well as] a range of other financial streams to remain solvent. Finances are closely tied to territory it controls.”
“The U.S. is doing its best, but the policy is not to cut off an entire population from the world,” Schanzer said. “There are millions of people who live in ISIS territory.”
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