Islamic State terrorists are raking in money at a remarkable rate, earning about $1 million a day from black market oil sales alone, a Treasury Department official said Thursday.
David Cohen, who leads the department’s effort to undermine the Islamic State’s finances, said the terrorists also get several million dollars a month from wealthy donors, extortion rackets and other criminal activities, such as robbing banks. In addition, he said the group has taken in at least $20 million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings.
“With the important exception of some state-sponsored terrorist organizations, IS is probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted,” Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “It has amassed wealth at an unprecedented pace.”
The Treasury said IS is selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transport the oil to be resold.