The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has reportedly budgeted $2 billion dollars for its upcoming 2015 jihad, according to Arabic media. Additionally, the budget expects to collect a $250 million dollar surplus throughout the year.
Naji Abdullah, a Mosul tribal leader, told UK-based and Qatari-owned al-Araby al-Jadeed that the budget covers the entirety of ISIS’s “Caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. It includes monthly stipends for poor and disabled citizens of the “Caliphate,” and will also make room to disburse dollars for orphans, widows, and families of jihadis killed by opponents of ISIS, according to Sheikh Abu Saad al-Ansari, who has been described as a prominent religious authority in Mosul.
In November, Forbes estimated that the Islamic State pulls in about $2 billion dollars in annual revenue. Estimates state that ISIS receives somewhere between 1 and 3 million dollars a day in oil revenue alone. The terror group has been successful in soliciting major funds through ransom, extortion, and drug trafficking. International leaders have often alleged that another chunk of ISIS’s funding comes from wealthy Sunni donors in Gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Separately, ISIS has shown no signs of stopping its holy war throughout the Middle East, as new reports have warned that the terror outfit is now seeking a foothold in Lebanon. Major-General Abbas of the Lebanon military told Reuters he worries that ISIS is actively engaged in attempting to seize territory located on his country’s side of the Syria-Lebanon border.
Abbas told Reuters, “Islamic State does not want to dominate Qalamoun (Lebanon border area) … but they want to use it to secure their backs in the region.” He added, “The (Lebanese) military and security forces are on full alert.”
Meanwhile, three Saudi border guards were killed late Sunday in a suicide attack on the Iraqi-Saudi border. The attackers have not yet been identified with a particular jihadist entity, but some have speculated that ISIS-affiliated fighters are the likely perpetrators.