The paper cited a report from IHS, a Colorado-based company which provides information and analysis to support the decision-making process of businesses and governments in industries, released Sunday. Its analysis concluded that ISIS’s monthly revenue has dropped almost 30 percent in the past year, forcing the terrorist organization to seek out new sources of income, including increased taxes and new fines. In mid-2015, ISIS’s overall monthly revenue was around $80 million, but it had declined to $56 million in March of this year, as its oil production dropped from 33,000 barrels per day to 21,000. This is likely the result of American and Russian efforts to impede ISIS.
“The Islamic State is still a force in the region, but, this drop in revenue is a significant figure and will increase the challenge for the group to run its territory in the long term,” said Ludovico Carlino, a senior analyst at IHS.
Roughly half of ISIS’s funding comes from taxes it collects; another 43 percent comes from oil revenue. The remainder comes from drug smuggling, electricity sales and donations.
In addition to reduced oil production, ISIS is losing ground, which impacts its ability to generate income.
“The Islamic State has lost about 22 percent of its territory in the past 15 months,” said Columb Strack, also a senior analyst at IHS. “Its population has declined from around nine million to around six million. There are fewer people and business activities to tax. The same applies to properties and land to confiscate.”
ISIS has resorted to creative new way of raising money, including increased taxes and fines. According to Carlino, “These taxes include tolls for truck drivers, fees for anyone installing new or repairing broken satellite dishes and ‘exit fees’ for anyone trying to leave a city.”
Fines are also being imposed for driving on the wrong side of the street or incorrectly answering questions about the Koran. Payments are being accepted, as well, in lieu of corporal punishments required by Shari’a law.
Haggai reminds us that all money is God’s. He may choose to grant or reduce wealth as He wills.