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ISIS looks for new sources of revenue

AFP
Published : Oct 20, 2016, 6:52 am IST
Updated : Oct 20, 2016, 6:52 am IST

As the ISIS group sees its territory shrink to half its original size and its dreams of a caliphate evaporate, the extremist fighters are losing access to the sources of revenue that once gave them th

Iraqi forces deploy in the Bajwaniyah village, about 30 km south of Mosul, after they liberated the village from IS. —AP
 Iraqi forces deploy in the Bajwaniyah village, about 30 km south of Mosul, after they liberated the village from IS. —AP

As the ISIS group sees its territory shrink to half its original size and its dreams of a caliphate evaporate, the extremist fighters are losing access to the sources of revenue that once gave them their power, prompting them to turn to extortion, kidnapping or foreign donations like their predecessors, the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

The ISIS group had a unique ability to capitalise on the natural resources of its territory in Iraq and Syria and swiftly implement a system of taxation and governance that allowed it to rule an area that once was the size of Switzerland. As the battle gets underway to retake Mosul, the group's largest stronghold in Iraq, the ISIS group is being denied access to revenue sources such as oil and gas and cash reserves that once amounted to more than $1 billion in 2014, said Daniel Glaser, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for terrorist financing.

With those resources slipping away, the ISIS group is expected to revert to “traditional methods we see al-Qaeda using - whether it's deep-pocket donors, whether it's charities, whether it's NGOs, whether it's criminal activity,” Glaser said in a recent discussion at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Location: United States, Washington