A study of the finances of so-called Islamic State reveals that the group’s loss of territory, coupled with an increasingly effective anti-IS coalition, has led to a dramatic decline of income since 2014.
The group’s dramatic loss of ground in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq is putting pressure on its finances, according to a report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.
Though exact figures are murky, the researchers from King’s College in London, together with auditing firm Ernst & Young assessed information, including leaked documents, about IS finances. They found that the group took in $870 million last year, which is approximately 50 percent less income than in 2014.
Its most significant sources of revenue — taxes and fees, oil, and looting — fell in 2016 as they lost control of cities. There were “fewer businesses to tax, fewer people to tax, fewer oil fields to be exploited,” said ICSR Director Peter Neumann.