ISIS, or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has been described as the most well-funded organization/terrorist group. ISIS makes its money from oil and extortion. In Turkey, the price of oil is about $7 a gallon, and so the cheap oil smuggled from across the border by the terrorist group is a bargain for the people in Turkey; even if the group is their enemy.
ISIS also makes its money by extortion by forced taxes and tolls, robbery, organized crime, and donations. This is how the terrorist group started out, but they expanded into oil after taking over Iraqi oil refineries. ISIS is said to produce 44,000 barrels in Syria per day, plus 4,000 barrels in Iraq per day.
The airstrikes have been targeting oil fields, to cut ISIS money supply. This has proven ineffective because the area can only be taken back by people on the ground. Airstrikes have also targeted grain silos, similar to how airstrikes have targeted oil refineries to cut the supply of money.
In order for someone to drive a truck in Islamic State controlled areas a toll will be paid, in order to do anything a fee or tax is imposed, forcefully. ISIS may have clean money, but they are no stranger to dirty money, last year the organization stole an estimated $500 million from several banks.
Even rumors of the terrorist group harvesting organs has been said because victims to ISIS are found with organs missing. However, no proof has been provided.
According to the Iraq Energy Institute in September, 2o14, ISIS sells oil for $40 per barrel on the black market. This is compared to $93 per barrel on the free market. The Iraq Energy institute says that $97 million a month comes from the organization’s oil fields in Iraq and Syria.
Unlike other terrorist groups in the past and present, ISIS has a solid foundation that has allowed for its expansion. Nations such as the U.S., against the terrorist group intend on cutting oil revenues for the group – revenues of which are a large portion of the terrorist group’s funding.
ISIS is one of the more well funded terrorist groups, a large portion of their money is from oil. However, the terrorist group is also one of the most diversely funded organizations.
In addition to oil, forced taxes, and stealing, ISIS also kidnaps people and then puts them up for ransom. A Swedish company put up $70,000 to save an employee. In January, ISIS demanded $200 million for two journalists from Japan. The ransom was not paid out and both were killed. It has been speculated that the terrorist group was simply trying to make a political point.
A ransom was put up for $7 million in August 2013 after ISIS captured Kayla Mueller in northern Syria. Recently, Mueller was declared deceased after a bombing of the the building she was in.
After separating from al-Qaeda, and a few name changes, ISIS built up to what it is now. The group was formed unofficially in 1999 and officially in 2011. ISIS is the most diversely funded group and it will probably acquire money oily or not.
By Jacob Dowd
CNN – 1
CNN – 2
Photo by Hourann Bosci – License