ISIL's Financial Strength

By Patrick Schmidt.

For a terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) follows relatively normal business practices.

It may come as a surprise to those not familiar with the group, but the organization has published an annual report revealing its secrets to success and longevity. ISIL is thought to earn at a minimum one million dollars per day.

While some analysts have noted the shocking financial resources at the group's disposal, other experts have remarked that their funds do not compare well with the financial resources available to Baghdad, which no longer go to captured ISIL territory.

This year alone, it is expected the group will make between $100 and $200 million. While some have suggested that the group survives off of foreign donations, the group instead uses its various captured resources and the extortion of local companies and individuals to support itself.

In order to effectively combat ISIL, the United States will need to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces in financial intelligence practices and then assist them in planning raids against key players in the financial management of ISIL.

One suggestion is that Iraqi and Kurdish forces should retake vital energy resources that have fallen under ISIL control. By doing this, ISIL would suffer a massive blow to its income and that would weaken the organization as a whole.

(Source: NY Times)


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