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How is Islamic State funded?

Islamic State flag waving on the wind

Islamic State flag waving on the wind

Islamic State is “probably the best-funded terrorist organisation” the US has ever confronted, according to officials in Washington.

How does the group make its money? 

Islamic State initially relied on wealthy private donors in the Middle East keen to oust Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

It now makes between $846,000 (£540,000) and $1.645m (£1.05m) a day selling oil from fields in Syria and Iraq.

Middlemen smuggle crude oil and refined products to Turkey and Iran, or sell them to the Syrian government.

Kidnapping has also generated at least $20m (£12.7m) in ransom payments in 2014, according to the US Treasury.

Islamic State raises several million dollars per month through extorting the eight million people under its full or partial control.

Payments are extracted from those who pass through, conduct business in, or simply live in IS territory.

Religious minorities have been forced to pay a special tax, convert to Islam or leave.

Islamic State also profits from robbing banks, looting and


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