Expert: ISIS recruits not motivated by moneyJanuary 5, 2015
Russia Today recently interviewed terror finance expert Loretta Napoleoni about the business operations of the Islamic State of Iraq. During the conversation, Napoleoni made some comments that seemed to suggest that ISIS is primarily driven by business imperatives rather than ideology—that governing territory and running a bureaucracy create its own financial demands that consume more and more of the organization’s time. Interviewer Sophie Shevardnadze sought clarification, asking if isn’t the case that ISIS fighters are motivated by their genuine Islamist beliefs rather than profit motives. Napoleoni gave a good and wise answer (transcribed below). Roll tape:
I think the people that are joining this organization today, they are not joining because they want to make money—we’re not talking about mercenaries here, at all—we’re actually talking about people that are lured into joining, who are seducted. We’re talking about true seduction… All of the sudden the message comes from the Islamic State and says, “Come and help us build the new state, come and help us implement the Muslim political utopia,” something that for generations and generations, for centuries the Muslims have tried to establish and they have always failed. So these people are not motivated by money, they are actually motivated by an ideology. But in order to get to this level the Islamic State had to build itself and they did it through finance.