Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

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Negligence arms ISIS

March 13, 2015

CNN has video of U.S. weapons stolen by ISIS from the Iraqi army a couple weeks ago:

This kind of activity demonstrates the need to safeguard U.S. military equipment in countries where American combat troops withdraw.  Giving surplus equipment to allies isn’t a problem, but leaving dysfunctional, foreign military units in charge of that equipment with no residual U.S. force for accountability is a recipe for theft or worse.

Weigh this information carefully as you ponder whether Americans should make a wholesale withdrawal from Afghanistan, or whether we should pursue a more reasoned approach.

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ISIS oil smuggling routes visualized

March 10, 2015

It’s not easy to depict the movement of terrorists’ money on maps. But the folks at Geopolitical Atlas have taken a good stab at it with respect to black market oil routes operated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Their map illustrates how ISIS territory, Syrian and Iraqi oil fields, ISIS-controlled highways, and porous borders with neighboring sympathizers overlap:

Islamic State money pipelines

Hat tip to @skinroller for sending this over.

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ISIS sells Christian loot at jihad bazaar

February 8, 2015

ISIS is funded in part from sales of illegally seized “Nazarene” (Christian) belongings. ISIS refers to the stolen merchandise as “spoils”—terminology chosen to reinforce the legitimacy under sharia law of dispossessing infidels of their property as described in the Koran, Sura 8, “The Spoils of War.” It has been estimated earlier that 12 percent of ISIS’s revenues come from concepts of taxation such as jizya and khums that are permitted by Islamic law.

From AINA on Feb. 2:

ISIS Opens Market in Mosul for Stolen Assyrian Property

Mosul (AINA) — ISIS has opened a special market to sell property it looted from Assyrian homes and churches in Mosul. The market, called “Spoils Of The Nazarenes,” sells televisions, refrigerators, microwave ovens and other electronic devices, as well as furniture and artwork. Prices range from 50,000 to 75,000 Iraqi Dinars ($42 to $63).

ISIS captured the city of Mosul on June 10. Almost immediately thereafter it began to drive Assyrians out of Mosul and destroy Christian and non-Sunni institutions. It imposed a poll tax (jizya) on Assyrians, ordered unmarried women to ‘Jihad by sex’, destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Church of the Highest in the neighborhood of AlShafa in Mosul, as well as the statue of Mullah Osman Al-Musali…

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Spain’s hawala network funds ISIS and al-Nusra

February 1, 2015

Intelligence services and Spanish authorities say that with a network of over 250 hawala dealers, Spain has become a financial center for funding terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Hawala is the traditional Islamic method of transferring value without transferring physical money.

The news daily El País further reports that there are scarcely any controls over hawala businesses in Spain. The majority of the hawala dealers are Pakistani, while many of their customers are Syrian and Moroccan. A hundred Moroccans in Spain have already joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11, used hawala agents in Logroño and Barcelona in the early 2000s. And Spain’s hawala system has only grown since then.

Hat tip to Well es bien for sending this over.

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Follow the francs: the Kouachi brothers’ links

January 9, 2015

Said and Cherif Kouachi, the main suspects in the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, each have their own relationships to jihadist groups.

The older brother, Said Kouachi, reportedly trained with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penisula (AQAP) in Yemen. AQAP makes about $10 million a year from ransoms, and is also funded by robberies (including banks, post offices, and payroll delivery trucks), and Saudi donors.  AQAP’s leader has previously said that ransoms make up about half of AQAP’s revenues, suggesting that their overall budget is about $20 million a year.  France’s quiet policy of paying ransoms to terrorist groups to release French hostages may be revisited in the near future given how ransom money can be used by groups like AQAP to train recruits in marksmanship and making bombs.

How Kouachi funded his airfare to Syria, and how the brothers paid for the AK-47s used in the attack (which cost $1,200 to $1,800 on France’s black market), have yet to be determined.

Younger brother Cherif Kouachi was a member of a recruitment ring in Paris known as “Nineteenth Arrondissement Iraqi Networks” or the “Butte-Chaumont network” that funneled Muslims from France to wage jihad in Iraq in the mid-2000s. The ringmaster was Farid Benyettou, an Algerian fed on a steady diet of jihadist texts and websites. As the case of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston illustrated, the websites that Tamerlan learned from didn’t host, administer, and fund themselves. There is usually an extensive, costly infrastructure behind so-called “lone wolves,” who are actually borrowing information, ideas, and tips from the wider jihadist network. The wider network is much more expensive to maintain than the few hundred or thousands of dollars it may have taken to carry out a single attack.

The Kouachi family is from Algeria, where jihadists including Al Qaeda in North Africa (AQIM) are heavily funded by ransom payments and drug trafficking.

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ISIS annual income nears 3 billion: estimate

December 19, 2014

Shattering previous estimates, Thomson Reuters Accelus says that ISIS’s annual income is $2.9 billion annually with total assets surpassing $2 trillion.

Most of the income comes from the energy sector, with 55 percent income coming from oil and natural gas. The remainder comes from extortion/Islamic taxation (12 percent); control of the Iraqi agricultural sector (primarily wheat and barley at 7 percent), the cement industry (10 percent), and phosphate mining (10 percent); kidnap-for-ransom schemes (4 percent); and donations (2 percent).

Hat tip to Gisele for sending in an infographic from their findings, which include the income breakdown:

Where Islamic State gets its money

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Mosul physician says ISIS profits from organ trade

December 9, 2014

Arab surgeons have moved into Mosul to remove patients’ organs for follow-on black market resale according to an Iraqi ear, nose, and throat doctor interviewed by Al-MonitorAl-Monitor characterizes organ trafficking as one of several funding sources for the Islamic State, and reports that revenues are “allocated to local and foreign fighters, to encourage them to join up and continue fighting.”  Hat tip to El Grillo:

…The third funding source was exposed by otolaryngologist Siruwan al-Mosuli. He said that lately he noticed unusual movement within medical facilities in Mosul. Arab and foreign surgeons were hired, but prohibited from mixing with local doctors. Information then leaked about organ selling. Surgeries take place within a hospital and organs are quickly transported through networks specialized in trafficking human organs. Mosuli said that the organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals who were kidnapped.

He said that organ sales yield large profits. A specialized mafia is engaged in these operations, in addition to medical institutions working in other countries. Without coordination among these parties, such a trade cannot be sustained, he said. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the organization sells bodies and organs of injured people they arrest…

Organ trafficking has also been used as a fundraising technique by Hamas, “Arab gangs,” and Kosovo terrorists.

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