Even if ISIS’s revenue sources were stopped immediately, the terror group has enough funds to keep its military operations running at current levels for years, according to a new intelligence report.
Currently the terrorist group makes $900 million per year from oil revenues, looting and even “taxes”, and has cash reserves to continue funding its war effort for three years.
The intelligence was gathered from seized documents, interrogation of former ISIS commanders, and interviews with civilians, anti-ISIS coalition diplomats, officials and civilians in ISIS controlled territories.
The reports say of the $900 million annual revenue, ISIS spends $600 million on its army, of which between $200 million to $250 million goes to its core fighters.
The main source of revenue for ISIS comes from selling oil, gas and electricity from Syrian dams and oil fields in Syria controlled by the group.
ISIS also imposes strict taxes on its “citizens”, including flat-rate taxes for “hygiene services”, as well as on imported and exported goods.
Even though ISIS has strict sharia laws, it grows and sells illegal drugs to drug cartels operating out of Turkey.
Another interesting revenue source according to the report is the network of 500 Internet cafes ISIS has set up, and from use of its telephone network. The biggest users of the internet cafes are ISIS recruited foreign fighters.
Besides promises of a better life after death, including the supply of virgins, ISIS pays foreigners who have joined its jihad in Syria and Iraq more than twice that of local fighters.
The average salary of a foreign fighter reportedly ranges from $600 to $1,000 a month along with food and other necessities of life. Local ISIS jihadists from Syria and Iraq make on average $200 to $300 per month.
In the U.S army, as of 2013, a private began on a basic pay of $1,402.20 per month, for the first four months of service, increasing to $1,516.20 after the fifth month.