AFP reports that Turkish police have busted six suspected ISIS militants for attempting to illegally mint coins. It seems like one of the more bizarre crimes to emerge from the Islamic State chamber of horrors, but the report notes that ISIS has long been interested in creating its own currency to achieve a measure of independence from what it describes as “the satanic global financial system.”
Australia’s ABC news service recalls that last month, the Islamic State released a propaganda video featuring images of gold, silver, and copper coins and boasted they were a financial weapon that would “deal a blow to the U.S. financial system.” Experts quoted by ABC noted that some other insurgent groups, such as FARC in Columbia, have established their own currencies.
The ISIS effort in Turkey seems to have been fairly serious, as the police raid on a town close to the Syrian border netted “coin punches, presses, and other coin-making equipment,” said to be of a “sophisticated” nature.
A mere 56 coins were captured in the raid. It seems the gang was getting close to settling on a design, as the police showed off a punch designed to “produce a coin with Arabic writing on one side and a picture of the world on the other.”
The coin-makers were described as “foreigners of unspecified nationality” and are in custody awaiting trial. AFP portrays their arrest in the context of a Turkish crackdown on ISIS and other terrorist groups, under pressure from its NATO allies.