Prosecutors Identify 416 French Islamic State Donors, Terror Group’s Cash Estimated in The Billions

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf petro-powerhouses encouraged a flow of cash to Sunni rebels in Syria for years. But now they face a worrying blowback as an al-Qaida breakaway group that benefited from some of the funding storms across a wide swath of Iraq. Gulf nations fear its extremism could be a threat to them as well. But the tangle of rivalries in the region is complex: Saudi Arabia and its allies firmly oppose any U.S. military action to stop the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq because they don’t want to boost its Shiite-led prime minister or his ally, Iran. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)
AP Photo/Militant Website, File
Prosecutor Molins said that he was alarmed by the number of French nationals helping to finance Islamic State but added that many were not giving large sums, speaking of a multitude of “micro-transactions” funding the terror group, L’Expressreports.
Speaking at a recent conference on the financing of international terrorism in Paris, Molins said that financial intelligence organisations had contributed to tracking the 416 individuals over the last two years. They were also able to identify “320 collectors mainly based in Turkey and Lebanon through which jihadists who were in Syria or Iraq could receive funds”.

Head Of Anti-Human Trafficking: Islamic State Directly Profiting From People Smuggling 

Molins also listed the approximate costs of several major terrorist operations in recent years, claiming that the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January of 2015 had cost roughly 25,000 euros while the Bataclan massacre, which saw multiple gunmen and suicide bombers kill 130 victims, cost 80,000 euros.
According to intelligence services, the total amount of cash possessed by the Islamic State is estimated to be around three billion euros.
While some of the money has come from overseas donors, much of the group’s cash has been confiscated from minorities in Iraq and Syria such as Christians. The Islamic State also sold and taxed up to 40 per cent of Iraqi cereal production and 80 per cent of the cotton production of Syria.
Fines within the Islamic State territory for mild transgressions against sharia law, such as a man having too short of a beard, also netted the group around a billion euros over a three year period.

While the territorial gains of the terror group have largely been taken back by a combination of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Russian, and U.S. forces, the group still remains active in Libya and has been tied to people trafficking.
Interpol warned of at least one case in which 50 suspected Islamic State members had used illegal migration routes from Tunisia to sneak themselves into Italy.



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