Most of the Islamic State’s funding comes from taxation on economic activity and basic services in areas under its control, according to new analysis released by IHS Inc., the global source of critical information and insight.
Analysis of open source intelligence, including social media, conducted by the team responsible for the monthly Conflict Monitor at IHS Aerospace, Defence and Security, estimates that the Islamic State’s overall monthly revenue in late 2015 to be around $80 million. The majority of this, around 50 percent, comes from taxation and confiscation, while around 43 percent comes from oil revenue. Drug smuggling, the sale of electricity and donations make up the remainder.
“Unlike al-Qaeda, the Islamic State has not been dependent on money from foreign donors, to avoid leaving it vulnerable to their influence,” said Columb Strack, senior analyst at IHS, and lead analyst for the IHS Conflict Monitor. “Our analysis indicates that the value of external donations to the Islamic State is minimal, compared with other revenue sources.”
Six sources of revenues
The Islamic State maintains at least six main sources of revenues: production and smuggling of oil and gas; taxation on the profits of all the commercial activities held in areas under its control; confiscation of land and properties; trafficking of drugs and antiquities; criminal activities such as bank robbery and kidnap for ransom; and state-run businesses, such as running small enterprises including transport companies or real estate agencies.