For Extremists in Syria, Extortion Brings Piles of Cash

(NPR) Alice Fordham - The renegade Islamist group ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is known for having the biggest guns and paying the highest salaries. While kidnapping, oil smuggling and donations from sympathizers have been sources of money, the group also runs complex and brutal protection rackets. Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution in Doha, Qatar, says Iraqi intelligence sources estimate that extremist militants take in more than $1 million a month in extortion from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Abulraheem al Shammari, an official at the Mosul provincial council, says, "They are extorting money from tradesmen, people with capital, shops, and pharmacy owners." The police and army, despite a heavy presence in the city, are powerless against this heavily armed mafia.

2014-04-23 00:00:00

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