Paris prosecutor François Molins claimed that 416 French nationals have helped finance Islamic State, while intelligence services estimate the terror group to have at least three billion euros in funds.
Prosecutor Molins said that he was alarmed by the number of French nationals helping to finance Islamic State but added that many were not giving large sums, speaking of a multitude of “micro-transactions” funding the terror group, L’Express reports.
Speaking at a recent conference on the financing of international terrorism in Paris, Molins said that financial intelligence organisations had contributed to tracking the 416 individuals over the last two years. They were also able to identify “320 collectors mainly based in Turkey and Lebanon through which jihadists who were in Syria or Iraq could receive funds”.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 15, 2016
Molins also listed the approximate costs of several major terrorist operations in recent years, claiming that the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January of 2015 had cost roughly 25,000 euros while the Bataclan massacre, which saw multiple gunmen and suicide bombers kill 130 victims, cost 80,000 euros.
According to intelligence services, the total amount of cash possessed by the Islamic State is estimated to be around three billion euros.
While some of the money has come from overseas donors, much of the group’s cash has been confiscated from minorities in Iraq and Syria such as Christians. The Islamic State also sold and taxed up to 40 per cent of Iraqi cereal production and 80 per cent of the cotton production of Syria.
Fines within the Islamic State territory for mild transgressions against sharia law, such as a man having too short of a beard, also netted the group around a billion euros over a three year period.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2017
While the territorial gains of the terror group have largely been taken back by a combination of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Russian, and U.S. forces, the group still remains active in Libya and has been tied to people trafficking.
Interpol warned of at least one case in which 50 suspected Islamic State members had used illegal migration routes from Tunisia to sneak themselves into Italy.