How Does ISIS Make Money?
Many have called ISIS the wealthiest terror organization in the world, but exactly how much money do they have? It is estimated that ISIS has a stash of around $2 billion, collected from taxing locals, kidnapping ransoms, stealing banking funds, and of course, oil.
ISIS is unlike many other terrorist groups that receive financing from wealthy supporters, and instead have a diversified stream of revenue. This means that even if the US was successful in shutting down one stream, there would be several others to fuel ISIS. According to the Rand Corporation, ISIS was taking in less than $1 million per month back in 2008, however this number rose exponentially to around $1-3 million PER DAY in 2014.
Obama has been criticized for not doing more to prevent the cash flow to ISIS, especially refraining from bombing oil trucks because of the chance of killing the civilian drivers, and because of the effect on global warming. Yes, that’s right. Obama is more concerned about carbon emissions than defeating ISIS.
Despite their diverse portfolio, the main source of cash comes from oil. Where does this oil go? It is believed that ISIS ships the oil by truck to the porous Turkish border, where it is sold to oil brokers. Many reports have suggested that these oil brokers will then sell it to the regime of Bashar-al-Assad, even though they are fighting his people in Syria!
Why would a regime set on destroying ISIS support its financial gains by buying oil from it? Although it may sound ridiculous, isn’t the US doing the same thing by buying oil from countries like Saudia Arabia and Iraq? When looking at the top sources for US petroleum imports, Saudia Arabia lands the #2 spot, while Iraq is in fifth. Why do governments, including our own, feel the need to purchase from and therefore finance these countries? It sounds like Obama should be criticized for a lot more than just refusing to bomb oil trucks.