Mohammed Alkhereiji writes: Described by counterterrorism experts as the most organised and affluent terrorist organisation in history, the Islamic State (ISIS) has managed to build a murderous empire through both criminal enterprise and implementing traditional Islamic economic concepts and systems.
US intelligence agencies concluded in June that ISIS is no weaker than it was a year before, despite months of a US-led bombing campaign in Iraq and northern Syria where the group controls large areas.
So how has ISIS managed to not only stay financially afloat but, in some cases, actually thrive in its moneymaking endeavours? A recent report by Dubai-based security firm Five Dimensions Consultants revealed an elaborate, yet Islamically traditional, financial structure used by ISIS to fund activities and recruitment efforts.
For external financing, ISIS uses traditional methods of Islamic fundraising, such as Sadaqah, which means “voluntary charity”. A global network of dedicated fundraisers receives donations from ISIS sympathisers, including from mosques.
According to Five Dimensions, the contributions are collected under the guise of raising funds for necessities such as the upkeep of mosques. This method “is one of the most effective ways for jihad sympathisers to get hold of unaccountable and untraceable cash”, the consultancy said. [Continue reading…]