Declaring an Islamic State, Running a Criminal Enterprise – Matthew Levitt (The Hill)
(dailyalert.org, July 7, 2014)
When the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) stormed into Iraq and captured Mosul the group not only walked away with a tremendous amount of abandoned military hardware, but also raided the city’s central bank and took off with some $425 million.
ISIS, which has renamed itself the Islamic State and unilaterally declared the reestablishment of an Islamic caliphate, has been financially self-sufficient for at least eight years, according to U.S. government estimates.
This success was the result of its successful criminal enterprises, including mafia-inspired tactics like extortion, kidnapping, smuggling and racketeering.