Report: ISIS Mafias Earned $11 Million in Iraq Through Extortion

AFP reports the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) “mafia” made around $11 million a month in Nineveh province in Iraq through extortion and bribery.

At first, the terrorists gained $5 million a month, but earnings went up to $11 million when they captured Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, in June 2014. They cashed in $1 million alone “on petroleum products being transferred from a major refinery in neighboring Salaheddin province.”

The group stole “the salaries of 300 municipality contractors.” Those paychecks added $62,000 a month. Doctors handed over $300 a month. Private generator owners paid $200 each.

No one in the province escaped payment, “even the vegetable sellers.” That extortion produced over $200,000 a month. Mosul housed one of the largest Christian communities in the world until ISIS took over. Militants told Christians to convert to Islam, pay a protection tax, or die.

A report from Foreign Policy in July 2014 stated that ISIS earned over $3 million due to illegal oil sales. Over 60 perent of the oil fields in Syria belonged to the jihadist groups. This allowed the terrorists to pump 80,000 barrels a day. These militants also “sell gas from oil fields and wells it has acquired at gas stations in Mosul.”

Iraqi forces continue to fight against ISIS over oil fields. In April, the forces managed to gain back all but one oil field from the terrorist group. Unfortunately, the terrorists overran the Baiji oil refinery, the largest in the country, only a month later.

The parliamentary report obtained by AFP has not yet been released to the public. Until then, it is unknown if the Iraqi officials included the antique black market. ISIS destroys Christian and Muslim shrines and tombs because of idolatry. However, the jihadists know the value of items and manage to sell them to Western antique collectors.

Antique sales pushed the group’s accounts from under $1,000 to billions. These militants control around 4,500 archeological sites. In al-Nabuk, they stole antiques over 8,000 years old, which netted $36 million for the jihadists. Residents and gangs are allowed to loot the shrines, but they must give 20 percent to 50 percent of their profits to the Islamic State.

The black market scheme spans into Syria. In June, Facebook shut down numerous Arabic-language pages that attempted to sell ancient artifacts from Syria. Images showed coins, statues, and manuscripts.


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