The Islamic State has diversified its income streams by increasing taxes and does not look like it will collapse soon, according to analysts.
The Islamic State made $2.4 billion in 2015, making it the richest terrorist group in the world by a substantial margin, according to the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism as reported by The Economic Times reported.
Despite losing territory and suffering airstrikes against its oil refineries, the group maintained income by increasing taxes on the estimated eight million people under its control from $360 million to $800 million in 2015. The Islamic State’s income for 2015 was $500 million less than its income the previous year.
The report’s authors concluded that “ISIS’s military defeat is not imminent … as things stand, ISIS economic collapse remains some way off in the mid-term.”
The Islamic State continues to brutally assert dominance over its dominion. On Thursday, 19 Yazidi girls were publicly burned alive in iron cages in Mosul, according to ARA News. “They were punished for refusing to have sex with ISIS militants,” local media activist Abdullah al-Malla told ARA News.
Nor are the Islamic State’s activities limited to the territories it controls in Syria and Iraq.
An alleged sleeper cell consisting of four Syrian men planning terrorist attacks in Dusseldorf was arrested on Thursday. One of the men had turned himself into authorities in Paris on February 1 and provided evidence against his fellow conspirators. It took German police four months to gather enough evidence to arrest the other three.
One of the suspects had filed for asylum. But the head of the German Police Trade Union has said that to run background checks on all refugees entering Germany would be unaffordable and that such a policy is too late.
“It would have been useful in the second half of last year to create conditions for background checks on all people who came to us, in fact, before they traveled [to Germany]. But that is past history now, as we cannot afford it,” he said, according to Russia Today.
At the moment the German Justice Ministry is investigating 180 terror suspects who have either returned from or have links to Syria.