Here’s a particularly bleak assessment from Indira A.R. Lakshmanan of the IS/Caliphate:
The Islamic State, which now controls an area of Iraq and Syria larger than the U.K., may be raising more than $2 million dollars a day in revenue from oil sales, extortion, taxes and smuggling, according to U.S. intelligence officials and anti-terrorism finance experts.
Unlike other extremist groups’ reliance on foreign donations that can be squeezed by sanctions, diplomacy and law enforcement, the Islamic State’s predominantly local revenue stream poses a unique challenge to governments seeking to halt its advance and undermines its ability to launch terrorist attacks that in time might be aimed at the U.S. and Europe.
“The Islamic State is probably the wealthiest terrorist group we’ve ever known,” said Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury terrorism and financial intelligence official who now is director of the counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They’re not as integrated with the international financial system, and therefore not as vulnerable” to sanctions, anti-money laundering laws and banking regulations.
At what point did the President wake up and realize that the “jayvee team” was in fact an “imminent threat?”