A recent report in The New York Times shows that ISIS — aka ISIL, Islamic State, and Daesh — pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars from “taxing” and extorting those who live in the territory that the group controls in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS is thought to make as much as $900 million from residents and businessmen in its territory, American and European officials told The Times. And this revenue isn’t easy to diminish since it has “so far proved largely impervious to sanctions and air raids,” according to The Times.
Experts have long said that taxation and extortion is ISIS’ main revenue source, but The Times showed the extent to which ISIS is entrenched in the cities and towns it has seized.
Since ISIS markets itself as a legitimate state complete with the functions of any other government bureaucracy, the militants have created a complex financial system to extract as much money as possible from people and businesses. ISIS charges import taxes, rent for businesses, fines for breaking laws, utility bills, and income tax.