Comment ISIS est-il financé et comment fonctionnent-ils?

Elias Azrak

Elias Azrak, a travaillé chez Investment Banking

Mise à jour il y a 72w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 528 et de vues de réponses 2.1m

Below I have been trying to summarize Jean-Charles Brisard's interview given to French medias and a Thomson Reuters published document called

By Jean-Charles Brisard and Damien Martinez

What sets IS apart and gives them tremendous power is their takeover of the financial sector and have been assuring the continuity of retail banking operations in that region: overall they seem to be controlling of 140 deposit bank branches.

The method initiated by terrorists to seize the financial sector shocked by its magnitude. That a terrorist group could seize banks and financial institutions was previously unthought-of and it has laid the foundation for a terrorist state. In June 2014, the IS took over the second largest city in Iraq, and took control of several branches of private and public banks including the Central Bank of Iraq (Mosul branch). The Governor of the Nineveh province reported in mid-June 2014 that the IS had stolen US$425 million in cash from the Mosul branch of the Central Bank of Iraq. According to the financial statements of the banks operating in Nineveh province as of December 31, 2013, their cumulative cash money in safes and current accounts/deposit balance exceeded US$1 billion. According to witness accounts and regulatory bodies, Mosul banks are still operating commercial and personal transactions.

In many parts of Syria, the banking system is also under the control of terrorists. The IS has taken control of a number of cities in Syria including Ar-Raqqah and Deir es-Zor where several banks were operating. In Raqqah, the People’s Credit Bank is reportedly used by the IS as the tax collection authority leveraging a utilities and security fee of US$20 per month on each of its customers (electricity, water and security fees).

As their operations are strictly local they have been able to circumvent any operations with foreign correspondents and therefore are not being subject to any international sanctions.

État islamique

As of November 2015, IS is controlling territory in Iraq and Syria equivalent to the size of the UK with an estimated population of 2.8 million to 5.3 million people.

The IS exerts authority over a range of industrial and commercial activities, natural resources and commodities, from oil to agricultural products and minerals. Based on certain estimates, the IS currently control assets in excess of US$2 trillion, with a current annual income amounting to US$2.9 billion.

Comment ISIS est-il financé et comment fonctionnent-ils?

From its inception, the group relied heavily on illegal activities to finance its operations. It also received private and institutional donations (mainly from NGOs) originating from Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. By 2006, it was already raising US$70 million to US$200 million a year from criminal activities and according to a November 2006, US government assessment AQI had successfully created a self-sustaining insurgency in Iraq. The assessment highlighted oil smuggling, kidnapping for ransom and political corruption as the most significant and profitable activities. It is interesting to note that from 2006 and the gradual withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, the organization committed to a diversification of its funding sources.

In its quest to establish administrative and civil control over its conquered territory, the IS has implemented taxes on a variety of commercial activities. In Mosul alone, IS is believed to raise US$8 million in taxes each month. Such taxes include the following:
— a tax on all goods;
— a tax on telecommunication companies;
— a tax on cash withdrawals from bank accounts;
— a 5% tax collected for social welfare and other public purposes on all salaries;
— a road tax of US$200 in Northern Iraq;
— an US$800 custom tax per truck entering Iraq at Jordan and Syria borders checkpoints;
— a tax on looting archeological sites (20% in Aleppo, 50% in Raqqa); and
— a protection tax for non-Muslim communities (known as jizya).

In total, the extortion/tax system imposed in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria could generate as much as US$30 million per month for IS, or US$360 million a year


According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), IS controls 13 oilfields in the governorates of Nineveh, al-Anbar, Salaheddiin and Kirkuk with a current production capacity of 60,000 bpd. IS has also gained control of two refineries in Syria and one in Iraq, that is in addition to several pumping stations in both countries. Fighting is still ongoing for the control of the Baiji refinery, which accounts for one-third of Iraqi oil production. In most cases, the IS has kept the oilfields, storage tanks and tanker trucks intact. All personnel have been forced, under the guidance of the IS, to ensure that everything remains operational. According to oil dealers, middle-men and shipping company owners buying crude oil from IS plants in Iraq, most of the transactions happen at a vastly discounted price of about US$25 a barrel (/b). IS covers its own needs and is believed to sell the rest on the local black market and export crude oil and/or refined products to Jordan, Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey.


IS has gained control over several natural gas fields in Syria and Iraq, including the largest Iraqi reserve of natural gas at the Akkas field located in the Al-Anbar province. At the current theoretical production capacity, natural gas plants under IS control could generate as much as 1,360MMcf/d, or US$81,600,000m, amounting to US$979M a year (with an assumed discounted price of US$2/Mcf). With production reduced by 50%, trading of natural gas would amount to US$489 million a year.


The IS has taken control of the Akashat Phosphate Mine, located near Rutba in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq. According to the owner of the mine, the State Company for Phosphate Manufacture, the current mine production is 1 million tons a year (mt/year) with a full production capacity of 3.4mt/year.16 The mine reserves amount to over 10,000mt. At a discounted price of US$50 a ton (/t), compared to market price of US$110/t, trading of phosphate could generate an annual income of at least US$50 million a year for the IS. In addition, the IS has gained control of the nearby Al-Qaim plant owned by the same public company. The manufacturing plant produces both sulfuric acid (1.5Mt/ year and phosphoric acid (400.000t/year). These products are sold at the average price of US$200/t for sulfuric acid and US$800/t for phosphoric acid, generating an estimated annual income of US$620M a year, or US$300M a year at a 50% discounted price.

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IS also has control over five major cement plants in Syria and Iraq: Al-Jalabiah Plant, owned by French company Lafarge, located in Ayn al-Arab, Aleppo province, with a total production capacity of more than 3mt/year17; Al-Raqqah Guris Cement Plant (1.5mt/year); Al-Falluja, Kubaisa and Al-Qaim plants in Iraq with a combined production of nearly 3mt/ year. Theoretical revenue generation from the combined plants production of 7.3mt/ year, could amount to US$583M/year (at an average market price of US$80/t), or US$292M at a 50% discounted price.


According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Iraqi provinces under IS control, especially the Nineveh and Salaheddine governorates are the most fertile in the country, accounting for 30% of the national wheat production (or 1 million ton) and 40% of the national barley production. In total, areas under control of IS, including the Nineveh, Salaheddine and Al-Anbar provinces, these account for 40% of the annual wheat production and 53.3% of the barley production.

In addition, IS has taken control of government wheat silos in Nineveh and Anbar provinces in Iraq reportedly containing 1.1 million tons of wheat, or one-fifth of Iraq’s reported annual wheat consumption. According to government sources, IS transports a portion of the government wheat to Syria, to be turned in to flour, and this is sold locally. IS has reportedly also tried to sell cereals to the Iraqi government through intermediaries.21 Trading the government wheat reserve on the black market at a 50% discounted price, (compared to the average market price of 170E/t), could generate a revenue of around US$120 million. Similar looting has also happened in Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), in the Aleppo province of Syria. It is estimated that trading wheat and barley on the black market could generate a global annual income for IS of over US$200 million (assuming a discounted price of 50% compared to a market price of 170E/t for wheat and 147E/t for barley).

The interview with Jean Charles Brisard in French can be found here:

And the Reuters document here:

In addition you might find this story of interest
Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President

As well as the latest Amnesty International report confirming that the US has been transferring billion dollars worth of arms to ISIS Iraq: US military admits failures to monitor over $1 billion worth of arms transfers

Anthony Tauro

Anthony Tauro, Casual Observer

Répondu il y a 224w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 752 et de vues de réponses 3.5m

Réponse d'origine: Where did ISIS get its funding from? How did ISIS manage to create a rogue state all of a sudden when al-Qaeda have been trying for much longer and have failed?

Main sources of revenue for ISIS

  1. Foreign donors
  2. Road taxes in areas it controls
  3. Revenue from controlling power stations and oil wells
  4. Extortion, robbery and kidnapping - this is probably the biggest source. A Iraqi official claimed that the ISIS took $400 million from banks in the Nineveh province (including Mosul) when they overran it earlier in June

Why did ISIS succeed where Al Qaeda failed?

There are significant differences between the Al Qaeda and ISIS. The ISIS started out in Iraq as a group fighting the US occupation. Obviously this was a very popular cause. Later, they started fighting Shia domination of the Sunnis. This was also very popular, because countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar were concerned for the Sunnis of Iraq. Saudi Arabia at one point threatened to overtly support Sunni groups to help defend the Sunni population, during the dark days of the 2006-2007 civil war in Iraq. Obviously, the Saudis would have been turning a blind eye to the eager Wahabi funds that are always looking to flow to Islamist terrorists anywhere.

Then ISIS lost popular Sunni support in Iraq in 2007 (following a changed US approach, and their own brutality). Then the Arab Spring happened and the rebellion against Assad started. The ISIS was one of many groups that joined the fighting there. But now, they had a very popular cause. The whole world was against Assad, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been very vocal about their desire to see him go. That might have been the start of their support for ISIS.

Today it is virtually given that Saudi and Qatar are supporting the ISIS. The Iraqi PM has come out and said as much - not a trivial thing considering how upset it made the Saudis. Even if its not official support, there is very likely covert support from wealthy individuals in those countries.

EDIT: Added point 3 in sources of revenue.

Ted Exstein

Ted Exstein, Expat - Livin' the dream...

Mise à jour il y a 89w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 1.4k et de vues de réponses 2.2m

Réponse d'origine: How does ISIS get its money?

This article, from August 2014: Here's How The World's Richest Terrorist Group Makes Millions Every Day explains how ISIS bankrolls its operations:

ISIS apporte in nearly $12 million a month in revenues from extortion and other shady practices in the Iraqi city of Mosul alone in addition to $1 million to $3 million a day selling oil illegally.

Basically ISIS gets it funds from the following:

  1. Sales of oil and gas
  2. Taxes within the region it controls
  3. Controlling agricultural products like wheat
  4. Controlling water
  5. Controlling electricity
  6. Support from wealthy Sunnis who support their aims - this may be drying-up though as they realize that ISIS intends to overthrow the Status Quo in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
  7. Extorsion
  8. Car jacking
  9. Kidnappings - unlike the much publicized murder of Americans, British, Japanese and the Jordanian, other foriegn countries are willing to pay ransoms
  10. Selling looted antiquities
  11. Selling drugs
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In sum, when it comes to raising money, ISIS functions much like the mafia, without any moral compass - the theft of $500 million from the Central Bank in Mosul along with an untold amount of gold bullion ISIS' half-a-billion-dollar bank heist makes it world's richest terror group - Telegraph has left ISIS as the richest Terrorist organization in the world today.

Hussain Sumrat

Hussain Sumrat, viens du futur

Répondu il y a 189w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 219 et de vues de réponses 449.2k

"According to our estimates, IS makes up to $1 billion annually on Afghan heroin trafficked through its territory," he added. The FSKN in November said that the sale of Afghan heroin in Europe could generate upwards of $50 billion for the militants.
High finance: ISIS generates up to $1bn annually from trafficking Afghan heroin
The United States says it does not have evidence that the government of Qatar is funding the terrorist group now known as the Islamic State (ISIS). But it does believe that private individuals in Qatar are helping to finance this group and others like it. And it thinks the Gulf state is not doing enough to stop this.
Qatar and ISIS Funding: The U.S. Approach
Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.
These donations, Newsweek has learned, are also routinely laundered through unregistered charities in the form of “humanitarian aid,” with terrorists coordinating geographical drop-off points for payments using cellphone applications such as WhatsApp and Kik. Not only can WhatsApp be used around the world but, crucially, it incorporates a GPS mapping tool that makes it easier for terrorists to communicate their exact locations to each other. Kik offers the added benefit of allowing terrorists to register a username without providing a phone number that could identify them. Affiliated ISIS Twitter accounts openly publish their Kik usernames.
Page on
America's Allies Are Funding ISIS
ISIS' biggest financial coup so far was no doubt the looting of the central bank in Mosul, which brought them the equivalent of about $429 million in cash. Additional banks in Mosul and other areas under ISIS control were also plundered, according to Meyer. In a Twitter post, the British commentator Eliot Higgins, writing under his pseudonym Moses Brown, noted that ISIS can buy "a lot of jihad" with that much money. "With $429 million, ISIS could pay 60,000 fighters $600 a month for a whole year."
In today's Big Question, Bloomberg's Willem Marx looks into the funding of the Isis militant group.
Who funds the ISIS Islamist militants in Iraq?
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) has become the richest terror group ever after looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars - the equivalent of $429m (£256m) - from Mosul's central bank, according to the regional governor.
IS exports about 9,000 barrels of oil per day at prices ranging from about $25-$45 (£15-£27).
The Express Tribune, an affiliate of the New York Times, recently reported in an article titled, “Startling revelations: IS operative confesses to getting funds via US,” that another “coincidence” appears to be contributing to the so-called “Islamic State’s” (ISIS) resilience and vast resources. A recent investigation being conducted by Pakistani security forces involving a captured ISIS fighter has revealed that he and many fighters alongside him, received funds that were routed through the US.

Koushik Venkatasubramanian

Koushik Venkatasubramanian, Loves traveling

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Réponse d'origine: How is ISIS so well funded?

It is said that ISIS was initially funded by certain high ranking and rich individuals from Saudi Arabia / Qatar / Turkey etc.

However, the bulk of their current funding comes from Oil revenues. It is said that the oil wells that are in ISIS controlled areas produce anywhere between 25,000 and 45,000 barrels a day. However, they sell this on the black market. Due to this, the price it fetches may be lower than market rates. However still, it is estimated that the daily revenue could be about $1.2 million. This is a lot of money, especially for a terror organization. While they call themselves an "Islamic State", I believe they wouldn't be offering any of the public services that are typically offered by governments. They're in "war mode" meaning that most of the money is obviously used to fund the actual war. So this makes ISIS a very well funded organization, in fact, better funded than many small countries.



Répondu il y a 218w

Réponse d'origine: Who is financing ISIS?

The typical rich Sunni states in the region who like to meddle (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar) who would have loved Bashar al-Assads alawite rule to be wiped off the map are strong suspects. Turkey also has some geopolitical gains in seeing him go. Also the west has supported the uprising against the Assad regime that has made ISIS this strong - although most likely they have shipped little help directly to these craziest idiots.

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The Saudi link has even been proven with arms shipments from Croatia paid for by them in the hands of several insurgents including the ISIS.

Funny how people in the region never learn that arming some militia will most likely bite them in the ass. Pretty sure the Saudis are currently reconsidering when they might find themselves being border neighbors with some batshit crazy caliphate. In fact, they were reported to already deploy troops on the Iraqi border. Some arab source have already tried to blame (surprise surprise) Israel for this but that is just a ridiculous attempt to pass the shame bucket.

But it is too late now, in the attack of Mosul ISIS robbed banks and vaults allegedly for hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars and they have stolen ("taxed") people where they have gone just like real medieval bandits did back in the days.

Next the kurds will get their chance to be given guns and ammo from the west... let's see how that turns out... the track record is pretty bad but somehow it is hard to do much worse than ISIS (which of course was the same line of argument used to arm the shah, saddam, the afghani mullas and more recently the libyan and syrian insurgents).

Shaikh Hosein Saiid

Shaikh Hosein Saiid

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There is no doubt that the poor people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other Islamic countries are living from hand to mouth as penniless people of the whole world. From the other side ISIS and other terrorist groups only have destroyed Islamic economic infrastructures and weakened the economies of the Islamic countries. It can be easily concluded that terroristic activities do not suit Muslims' interests and benefits rather it meets the benefits of the enemies of Muslims. Because the more the Muslims become weak and poor the more their enemies become powerful and strong.

The terrorists' presence in the Islamic countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan has only served to raise denominational and racial tensions between different religious sects and ethnic groups. Because, the terrorists backed by the foreigners have killed thousands of innocent people in the countries since 2001. Most of the people killed by these extremist groups are amongst followers of different sects and ethnic groups which led to the denominational tensions. The result and output of these tensions does not suit the Muslims' benefits rather it weakens them.

The terrorist groups such as ISIS are provided with the most modern and advanced warfare to massacre the innocent people of the poor countries. Sometimes their weaponries and arms are much more advanced and better than what the national armies have in the Islamic countries. It shows that even the governments' budgets is not comparable to the terrorists incomes and budgets.

Now the important question is that how the terrorist groups such as ISIS are funded and operate in the Islamic territories. It is at least evident and obvious that Muslims and the Islamic countries are not the real supporters of the terrorism rather the terrorist militants are supported and funded by the other powerful countries in the world.

Joe Willmore

Joe Willmore

Répondu il y a 159w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 2.3k et de vues de réponses 4.9m

Réponse d'origine: Is the U.S. funding ISIS like it funded Al-Qaeda?

First, the US didn't fund al-Qaeda. There are conspiracy theorists who like to argue this. It's bunk.

During the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the US funneled arms and money in to Pakistan. The ISI (Pakistan's version of the CIA) insisted on being the conduit for all of these resources--they wanted to pick winners and losers. Furthermore, there was no "al-Qaeda" then. You had Mujahadeen (holy warriors), not all of whom were islamic extremists (for instance, Massoud was very effective in this war, he was an engineer by training, a Dari--not Pashtun--by ethnicity, and the US was a big fan of his. In fact, after the Russians left, Massoud battled the Taliban once they took over in what became known as the "northern front").

Second, the US isn't funding Daesh (what the OP called "ISIS"). Daesh came about b/c the government of Iraq is Shiite, it encouraged sectarian cleansing by militia against Sunni. So Daesh found widespread support among the Sunni. Daesh funds itself through hostage-taking, taxing people in areas it conquers, selling oil, and extortion and robbery (give us your money or we'll kill you).

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