By John Lee.
According to a report from Reuters, Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) militants fighting in Iraq are selling oil from oilfields and refineries they control to local communities and smugglers, augmenting their existing ample finances.
It is understood that at least some of the oil is used to fuel a power plant they seized after the radical Islamists captured large tracts of Iraq including the country's second city Mosul, killing thousands and causing hundreds of thousands to flee, the officials said.
U.S. intelligence officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the militants now have "hundreds of millions of dollars" at their disposal, having taken over state banks and looted homes and businesses.
"At this point (the group) is overwhelmingly self- financing," one official said. But the officials said the group also has to pay its fighters and finance the operation of public services in territory it controls.
At some point, the intelligence officials predicted, the group is likely to find itself overextended, particularly if it keeps expanding the areas it controls.
(Terrorism image via Shutterstock)