The Islamic State Of Iraq And Syria Essay
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is unique among terrorist organizations,
particularly in its generation of revenue. The group generates nearly all of its
funding from the population and land it controls and does not rely on donations.
Historically, to finance their operations, terrorist groups have relied on various
transnational or nefarious means like foreign donors, correspondent bank
accounts, offshore shell banks, remittance systems, bulk cash smuggling, drug
trafficking, and fraudulent schemes. ISIS’ immediate predecessor, the Islamic
State of Iraq, which evolved from al-Qaeda in Iraq, relied heavily on contributions
from foreign fighters and began funding its operations through various criminal
activities to build a self-sufficient financial base. Indeed, ISIS has existed in various
forms since 2000, and as its size, scope, and goals have evolved, so has its
ISIS is afforded additional sources of revenue because it controls territory and
tyrannizes millions of people who inhabit the cities and towns under their grip.
The two biggest urban areas ISIS controls are Mosul, Iraq (estimated population of
one million) and Raqqa, Syria (estimated population of 300,000). In 2014, ISIS’s
budget was $2 billion.
ISIS and its predecessors have been raising revenue through criminal activities,
looting banks, producing and smuggling oil, confiscating assets, looting…