Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | ISIS | Collects | Millions | Taxation

ISIS Collects $40M in Taxes Every Month to Fund Caliphate

Image: ISIS Collects $40M in Taxes Every Month to Fund Caliphate
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 02:54 PM

Islamic State jihadists have reportedly collected as much from a monthly tax grab as they have in oil profits since their rise to prominence.

The Financial Times
reports U.S. government officials estimate ISIS takes in up to $40 million in taxes every month, equaling its profits from the sale of oil.

According to the newspaper, over the past year, taxation and land grabs probably rivaled oil as the group's main source of revenue. Oil revenues, which go straight to the group's top leaders, are estimated to have reached more than $450 million during the past year, the FT reports.

The taxes are known as zakat – a 2.5 percent hit on Muslims who can afford it and live in the areas overtaken by ISIS for its caliphate, the FT reports. The group justifies its tax grab from text in the Koran that allows the zakat for use in a holy war, which the radical Islamic terrorists contend they're fighting, the FT reports.

ISIS has also been digging into the salaries of Iraqi government workers who live in towns taken over by ISIS, including Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. The government contribution to ISIS amounted to some $23 million, the FT reports.

"[Eventually], there was no other alternative than to cut the salaries," Haitham al-Juboori, the deputy head of Iraq's parliamentary finance committee, told the FT. "We couldn't find another way."

In addition, ISIS also takes a percentage of money transfers sent from abroad to relatives who are living in areas taken over by the jihadists, the FT reports.

"Every person who has a relative abroad gets help," Abu Rami, who abandoned his government job in Raqqa when ISIS took over, tells the FT. "My brother is in Lebanon. Every month he would send me $100, which is what he earns in two days. That $100 lasted me the whole month."

And the jihadists take zakat from farmers' harvests.

But the newspaper reports the zakat part of its tax grab is shrinking as many of the wealthier residents — as well as farmers — have fled the region. 

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Islamic State jihadists have reportedly collected as much from a monthly tax grab as they have in oil profits since their rise to prominence.
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Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 02:54 PM
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