The Islamic State (ISIS) in its mission to establish a worldwide caliphate encapsulating Muslims all over under and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the Khalifa, despite International criticism and condemnation for its means of operation, has now successfully managed to be the World’s wealthiest terrorist, militant extremist group with a reported net worth of over $2 billion.
So how can the ISIS, cut off from the rest of the world by financial and trade sanctions, subject to daily aerial and ground bombardment by some of the richest countries in the world, afford to maintain a well-armed military and sustain their operations?
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), an activist collective secretly documents the shocking narratives the ISIS has brought to their home city. The horrifying cases of extortion, ransom through kidnapping are some of the “simplistic” means this extremist group uses to gain funds, they say. The RBSS in its recent findings, reported that citizens of Raqqa – the “De Facto” capital of the Islamic State are heavily fined on even minuscule deflections from the Sharia law, which the ISIS unequivocally imposes.
Looting, plundering and selling of artifacts and antiquities alongside confiscating private land from disagreeing locals helps them support tens of thousands of militants who wage their ceaseless war, with new recruits coming in daily, without any signs of resources running low. The outreach of the group has grown exponentially by uploading harsh content on internet streams, giving them international recognition from similar underground fractions.
Washington’s point person in this fight —the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Under-secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen in his speech, vehemently acknowledged that the ISIS “obtains the vast majority of its revenues from local criminal and terrorist activities.” Also calling it to be the “best funded terrorist organization” the U.S. has “ever confronted”.
With its territory now being consolidated all across the Middle East as sketched out by Government analysts & intelligence agents, ISIS works well away from the prying eyes of outside investigator, dealing in its currencies – cash, crude oil and contraband (illicit import & export system) allowing it to operate illegitimately and expand its robust financial operation. Alleged claims state that the group has merged with Assad’s regime to conduct oil deals in the black market. Some even state that the funding is done by the “enemy states” of the US.
At its core, the ISIS money machine runs on the fear of the millions of people it controls. The baksheesh system, established during the reign of Saddam Hussain still is a paramount factor for it makes the border guards turn a blind eye to trucks of cash being sent across borders. Only in 2013 under intense pressure by the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, did Saudi Arabia criminalize financial support of such terrorist organizations however until then there was traces of large sums being offered to the ISIS by Royal families and deep pocketed donors.
Setting up of fake humanitarian aid through means of WhatsApp, Kik and Twitter are means used too.
A report from U.S. Department of Defense Inspector-General concluded that the U.S. had lost track of nearly 250,000 small arms, some of which may have made their way into ISIS hands. As highlighted by Conflict Armament Research, the disintegrated small arms and light weapons from conflict stricken areas are readily taken away.
Unless the international coalition can plunge in and cut off the funding that the group maintains, the ISIS presence can only be seen to grow. The perpetrator though for not much longer can hide, since the Secret’s Revealed.
Source : indiansnews.com