Money is what fuels any organization, whether its purpose is building homes, selling goods – or conducting horrific violent acts. A terror organization, just like any legitimate business, needs capital to survive. Quick cash is used to finance general activities, pay salaries for activists, develop training camps, purchase weapons and destructive materials, and provide transportation and much more.
But unlike legitimate businesses, terror enterprises cannot rely on loans or issuing stocks or bonds to fund their activities. Instead, they shift their financial efforts to underground operations, above and around the financial laws of the economic world.
Here is a list of some of the world’s wealthiest – and most dangerous – terrorist organizations and how they make their money. The list was created by Forbes Israel based on interviews with security experts and counter-terror specialists, as well as reports and analysis from international NGOs, academic and government organizations, and think-tanks. It brings to light estimated numbers behind the top ten wealthiest terrorist organizations from the State Department list of Designated Foreign Terrorist organizations.
Annual turnover: $2 billion
Main funding sources: oil trade, kidnapping and ransom, collection of protection and taxes, bank robberies and looting.
Goal: the establishment of an Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, the Muslim holy war against the infidels, Crusaders (i.e. Christians) and the Jews. (Forbes)