ISIS affirmed as World's richest terror outfit
In 2015, ISIS made $2.4 billion, becoming the richest militant organisation. According to a report by the Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism, after consistent airstrikes on it's oil-infrastructure, ISIS shifted it's business focus to taxes. They compensate for lost revenue by collecting taxes from around 8 million people under it's control. It elevated it's extortion from $360m in 2014 to $800m in 2015.
Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism
The Centre for Analysis of Terrorism is a research centre and European think tank that focuses on analysing trends in terrorism. Its goal includes providing abundant research on terrorism and it's counter strategies and developing propositions for governments. It aims to increase international cooperation and information exchange against terrorism and terrorism financing. The CAT is chaired by Jean-Charles Brisard, a leading expert on terrorism.
Jean-Charles Brisard, the chairman of Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism, was also the former chief investigator for the petitions filed by the 9/11 victims' families.
What is ISIS?
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is a Salafi jihadist militant group, following doctrines of Sunni Islam. It enforces control over extensive territories in Iraq and Syria, and rules over 2.8 to 8 million people. It was born as an off-shoot of Al-Qaeda and eventually became its regional rival.
What is a Caliphate?
A caliphate is an Islamic state that is led by a caliph. Caliphs are political and religious leaders, considered successors (caliph) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. A caliph's power and authority is absolute.
ISIS making billions because of taxes
According to experts Jean-Charles Brisard and Damien Martinez, oil reduced to 25% of ISIS's revenue compared to 38% last year. They made up for the same by expanding their extortion racket. In 2015, tax collection made up 33% of the revenue, against only 12% last year. They levy 10% income tax, 15% business tax, 5% on bank cash withdrawals and 35% tax on medicines.
The terror outfit is accused of selling crude oil on the black market in Turkey. ISIS sells oil to independent traders at the oil fields who get it refined in the mobile or local rudimentary refineries established in Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State's source of income
According to a report in The Washington Post, ISIS obtained $40m in 2013-14 from influential families and businessmen in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE. According to Thomson Reuters, substantial sources of income such as extortion and taxation by the group fetches it around $360m a year. One of ISIS' largest source of income is oil trade. It owns six of Syria's ten oilfields.