A Brief history about ISIS: Its Stateless Psychology And Mission

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ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are also known as ISIL which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. They are known to cause fear within and outside of countries. Whether it is bombing monumental building that contains a lot of people or just causing mayhem where they are. But in order to make bombs, supply their people with weapons, and travel, they need money to do so. And that leads to the question; where do they get the funds to carryout their devilish activities? How much money is in their control? How do they obtain monies from outside their immediate environment? Some websites stated that the Islamic State received up to $40 million in 2013-2014 from businessmen, wealthy families and other donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Many of these donors choose to fund the Islamic State because of fear and animosity for Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Swanson 2015) The Brookings Institution in 2013 observed that donors in Kuwait were giving up to hundreds of millions of dollars to various Syrian rebel groups. But there are other funds, that are unregistered charitable organizations give money to the Islamic State, and they are still open to the public. (Nyce 2015) B.

Kidnapping for ransoms Kidnapping of British and American hostages

A U.N. report from October in 2014 estimates that the Islamic State had managed to get $35 million to $45 million in 2013 through kidnapping for ransom alone. The United States and U.K. have tried to limit this by making it illegal to pay for ransoms. This policy might have been ignored by families that are affected by kidnapping, but officials tried to stick to the rules regarding the American and British hostages. The ISIS also got insane amount of money from kidnapping for ransom in its own communities, which did go unreported. (Swanson 2015)

How is money obtain from within the country?

Trafficking Human Beings.

Many reports have documented Islamic State’s practice of selling women and girls into marriage or sexual slavery, including women from the Yazidi and Shia-Turkmen minorities. ISIS is known for killing the men from these areas. Females are undressed, their virginity checked and evaluated for attractiveness. The youngest and the virgins amongst the girls are the most expensive ones. They would take them to the ISIS´ shuman markets in different places in Iraq and Syria. (Callimachi 2015). There, ISIS leaders would choose first, the girls they like for free. Then, the non ISIS members would pay some thousands of dollars to buy the girls they want to have. The rest of the girls are sold to fighters for about $40- 165 dollars, depending on their qualifications. (Smith 2015). Any girl left afterwards was sold much cheaper. Some men were given the opportunity to select about three to four females at once who they would have canal knowledge of use them just to ascertain if they are the perfect fit. When the owner has had enough sexual encounter, the girls are brought back to the market.

There are currently around 3000 to 5000 females enslaved by ISIS at the moment. Many have been killed while some others have committed suicide. Few lucky ones have been able to escape. Many girls have taken their lives by cutting their wrists, drinking poison and electrocuting themselves in bathtubs. (Human Rights Watch, 2015). By selling girls to the wealthy non-ISIS members, the organization makes some extra money, but it is not the main reason why ISIS is into the dark market of human. ISIS probably does human trafficking to meet the sexual demands of its male soldiers, and to humiliate the people, who they consider infidels.

Body Parts/ Organs

The Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, once stated that bodies were found mutilated, and parts carved out from the backs of corpses. He concluded that ISIS was harvesting and trafficking the organs of dead civilians. These they harvest from prisoners and slaves after their execution for money (Ahlert, 2015). Many of the prisoners that are not executed, are at least forced to donate large amounts of blood (Huusko, 2015). These victims could include other minorities such as Shia, Christians, Turkmen and Shabak. Thus, ISIS severed various body parts including kidneys and livers. Surgical carvings on the body, plus missing organs lead to this conclusions of ISIS being involved. (Ahlert 2015). Information about organ selling started to leak when otolaryngologist Siruwan al Mosuli recognized uncommon movement at hospitals in Mosul. It was later discovered that the organs were from dead fighters, wounded people and most of all from ISIS victims. In their wickedness, doctors who refused to remove the organs were killed. In February 2015, Alhakim requested the U.N. Security Council to research the vague and sudden deaths of 12 doctors in Mosul (Strobel, Landay, Stewart 2015). There were documents that gave religious permission to take organs from live “apostates”, for the sake of saving the life of a Muslim.


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ISIS sells artifacts and other cultural items on the black market. The areas that is controlled by ISIS contains artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia.. They also took control of museums, private collections and archaeological sites, such as the 9th century B.C. grand palace of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II. This has given the ISIS a large supply of precious art and historical artifacts. ISIS has at least 4,500 cultural sites under its control, according to the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force. Some of these cultural artifacts were destroyed by ISIS while others were sold for a profit. Some of the antiques were resold in the markets in Turkey and Jordan, and from there to Europe and other advanced countries. U.S. estimates put the total volume of trade in antiquities at more than $100 million a year. (Fantz 2015) B.

Control of Areas in the Country Extortion/Taxes

ISIS once controlled a large amount of territories, where they taxed the people who lived there. Some of these taxes are similar to those of a normal state, while others are more like extortion, where they use violence to get this money. ISIS taxes on things included goods, utilities such as electricity and water, telecommunication companies, cash withdrawals from bank accounts, employee salaries, and trucks entering ISIS territory at checkpoints. A report by Thomson Reuters estimates that this extortion and taxation of people in those areas could be as much as $360 million per year for ISIS. People in the area describe it as a kind of two-tiered system, where the ISIS fighters and their families receive a variety of free services, including housing and medical care, while others are taxed heavily. (Swanson 2015) Basically ISIS fighters were treated better than others because they supported their terrorist organization.


The oil fields that ISIS captured in Syria and Iraq have been a major source of funding for ISIS. Although it’s easy for the United States and other countries to prevent large-scale exports of oil from ISIS, it’s much harder to control the black market oil trade. ISIS mostly takes oil into small mobile refineries, then ships it by truck to the Turkish border, where oil brokers and traders buy it. Because the trade is illegal, the oil is sold at a discount that can fluctuate at anytime. Smugglers would use mobile messaging apps such as Whatsapp to coordinate exchanges of products.

Oil sales initially provided ISIS with a lot of money, but that has been declining over the years because of the presence of the U.S. and other countries that got involved to stop this. By October 2014, the U.S. had reportedly destroyed about half of the group’s refining capacity. The United States has also tried to identify and target oil brokers and encourage Turkey to take measures to stop the smuggling on its border. Also the illegal petroleum engineers and other technical experts that assist to make these products have either fled the area or have been killed. (Swanson 2015)


What can we take from all this?

What ISIS now have a decreased revenue due to the U.S. and other countries stepping to put a stop to their excesses. It is my view that in due time, ISIS will eventually crumble on its own. There is already a crack in their system. Today they have no more outlets to turn to for money even as their reserves have obviously declined. Thus, they are becoming less incapable of funding themselves and others who work for them.

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