Inside the financial structure of ISIS

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…]

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