I always wondered how ISIS can continue to grow and recruit and blow stuff up when it seems like everyone’s against them in general.
Except a certain President I know – but that’s beside the point..
Did you know that in addition to exploiting the US’s porous borders, immigration policy and utilyzing social media – ISIS plays the market?
… And apparently plays it well.
Isil is making millions of dollars for its war chest by playing foreign currency markets under the noses of bank chiefs.
The terror group is earning up to $20m (£14.29m) a month by funnelling dollars looted from banks during its takeover of the Iraqi city of Mosul into legitimate currency markets in the Middle East.
It then makes huge returns on currency speculation, which are then wired back via unsuspecting financial authorities in Iraq and Jordan, a parliamentary committee was told on Wednesday.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (Isil) extraordinary venture into white collar crime is now a major source of income, along with oil smuggling and extortion from people living in Isil-controlled areas.
Details of the scam emerged during a hearing of a specially-convened Foreign Affairs sub-committee set up to examine Britain’s role in Isil financing.
The hearing was told that Isil finance chiefs would play the international stock markets using cash looted during their 2014 take over of Mosul, in which the group got its hands on an estimated $429m from the city’s central bank.
They also used money “siphoned off” from pension payments that are still being made by the Iraqi government to civil servants living in the city.
The details were revealed to the hearing by John Baron, the sub-committee’s chair, who demanded to know whether the British government – which has pledged to help cut off Isil’s finance networks – was taking proper action against it.
“The cash that Isil has looted, along with siphoned off pension payments, is routed into Jordanian banks and brought back into the system via Baghdad,” he said. “That allows the system to be exploited by Isil, in that they take a turn (profit) on the foreign currency actions and siphon that cash back.”
The profits were channeled back into Isil coffers by “hawala” transfers, an unregulated system of money transfer whereby cash payments are made via agents in one country after a similar amount is presented as collateral in another.
Well at least somebody’s doing well in the Obama economy…
… oh, sorry – it’s George W. Bush’s fault – almost forgot.
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