U.S., Allies Struggle to Cut Out ISIS' Tangled Financial Records - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

U.S., Allies Struggle to Cut Out ISIS' Tangled Financial Records

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    U.S., Allies Struggle to Cut Out ISIS' Tangled Financial Records
    Moment Editorial/Getty Images

    Even before last week's Paris attacks, U.S. officials had opened up a new front in the war on ISIS: cutting off its cash flow, NBC News reported. 

    The self-proclaimed Islamic state has "revenue streams (that) are, to be sure, diverse and deep," David Cohen, a senior Treasury official, said during a Washington speech last year, making it "probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted."

    While funding for the jihadists' global terror operations and ongoing control of Iraqi and Syria territories come from a variety of sources, an accurate accounting is problematic.

    Much of the cash raised by ISIS, though, doesn't flow through conventional financial channels.

    Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

    The Islamic State raises millions of dollars a week from "taxation" and outright extortion of businesses and local government and civilian workers, according to Howard Shatz, a senior economist at the Rand Corp.

    "ISIS raises much of its money just as a well-organized criminal gang would do; it smuggles, it extorts, it skims, it fences, it kidnaps and it shakes down," he wrote in a blog post.