Economics of Terrorism in Iraq and Syria: Follow the Money if You Can………


Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

“The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region……….. But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes; often, it took advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states, according to officials, experts, and leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is fighting ISIS as well as the regime. “Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”…………..”

The money
, it all comes down to the money. Any army or militia needs a source of money: zealotry alone is useless. God will surely not help an army or militia that is flat broke. Thousands of Wahhabi terrorists in Iraq and Syria would not function long without money, a lot of money. It is not money from captured oil fields in Iraq and Syria. It is not from taxes in impoverished western Iraqi regions. It is not locally printed money. It is not from ransoms paid for hostages: most of the hostages are poor pilgrims or soldiers who can’t afford a ransom. It is hard currency, mainly U.S. dollars. I have posted on this in the past, more than once. Yet nobody seems able to discover the exact source and route of the money. Correction: we can guess the sources of the money, but nobody wants to come out and say it publicly and do something effective about it. And who has that kind of money, to spend many millions without having to get anyone’s approval?

In the case of Kuwait the writer exaggerates: it has been the pro-Wahhabi elements of the private sector that aid and abet the Jihadis, rather than the government. In the case of Qatar and Saudi Arabia (and possibly the UAE) the situation is different: the princes and potentates started throwing money and weapons at the Jihadis in Syria early on. Some of the same princes and potentates are still at it, financing the terrorists even as official policy seems to be against it. Instability in Iraq has always been part of the strategy of the princes and oil potentates.………… 

is what I posted one year ago about The Economics of Jihad in Syria
“Local Kuwait media report that the tribal Islamist opposition has called for a mobilization for war in Syria (they called it for Jihad in Syria). A bunch of former opposition tribal Islamist MP’s held a sort of tribal charity ball but stag, a large gathering of men to start a campaign to raise money to equip and arm 12 thousand ghazis (ghazi is Arabic for invader, raider, meaning here Jihadi) for Syria. They have called for every family (that listens to them) to equip and arm one Mujahid to go to Syria to fight. One of them suggested that 700 Dinars (about US $2400) would prepare and send a Jihadis to battle in Syria. (No idea if this amount covers one or multiple multiple wives). That of course does not cover the current cost of operations: food, bullets, shelter, bribes, booze, weed, women, etc. All that minus current revenues: whatever can be looted as war booty or obtained as ransom for hostages the FSA and Jihadist militias like to take (they are avid hostage-takers and are still holding two Christian bishops and two other priests hostage, in addition to many Alawis and Shi’as). Some of the well-heeled tribal Islamists at the gathering contributed new non-Islamist cars. One gave a new heathen-made Chevrolet Suburban, another donated a new infidel-made Mercedes-Benz. One former member of parliament got a family to pay for the arming and equipping 28 ghazis (raiders or Jihadis) for Syria. Another former member deposited funds to cover three Jihadis………………”

If $2,400 will send one terrorist fighter to Syria or Iraq. One thousand jihadis would cost $ 2.4 million (as a starting fixed cost, not counting current expenses). Add all other expenses over time, and you do the rest of the math. Take into consideration that the $2,400 might just be a ‘teaser’, a hook, to get things started.


mhg[email protected]