In May Iraqi security analyst Husham al-Hashimi published a report for the Center for Global Policy about the state of the Islamic State. He wrote that IS was earning over $3 million a year. That contrasted with an American general and senior official who claimed that the Islamic State was in serious financial trouble.
In June, Hashimi issued a new paper about IS’s activities along the Iraq-Syrian border. He added more to the group’s money situation writing that it was smuggling up to $100,000 a day between the two countries. IS has always been a unique insurgent group being largely self-sufficient. Even now when it is at its lowest point it still apparently has a solid financial base. Besides smuggling, it has investments, it has criminal activities like extorting businesses, it collects taxes, etc. Not only that, but because the group is focused upon rebuilding at the moment it does not need as much money as before. The number of operations it conducts for instance is at the lowest level ever.
Browne, Ryan, “ISIS seeks to exploit pandemic to mount resurgence in Iraq and Syria,” CNN, 5/8/20
Al-Hashimi, Husham, “ISIS in Iraq: From Abandoned Villages to the Cities,” Center for Global Policy, 5/5/20
- “ISIS on the Iraqi-Syrian Border: Thriving Smuggling Networks,” Center for Global Policy, 6/16/20