How the Islamic State Made Its Billions
Is oil from IS-controlled fields being mixed in with legitimate exports to Europe?
The Islamic State (IS) has moved through the Middle East over the course of the past year in a persistent attempt to establish a caliphate. With over 30,000 fighters on its payroll, including their families, jihad is an expensive business.
IS has made its estimated $2 billion fortune on bank seizures, ransom payouts and the illegal antiques trade, as well as taxation and extortion. But oil has been at the core of the Islamic State’s money-making machine, bringing in an estimated $100 million in 2014.
In an ironic twist, the group’s number one enemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose war machine needs oil as much as the Islamic State needs cash, is the top buyer of IS crude.
Channel 4 News tracks the supply chain of oil produced in IS-controlled fields in Syria to Turkey, where it becomes mixed with legitimate oil and then onto Europe.
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