Money: The Root of Terrorist Evil

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By The Gunship Blogger

Introduction

ISIS raids banks in Iraq despite the illegality of such actions in Sharia Law.[1]  It also sells oil on the black market while it rallies its followers against Saudi Arabia for doing so legally.[2]  Suicide bomber families receive generous stipends from extremist groups despite the bombers actions supposedly in support of a religious cause.[3]  Taliban in Afghanistan pay farmers to implant IEDs and Katusha rockets in order to fight against the Coalition forces.  Drugs sold through capitalist trade fund communism.[4]  These observations have two similar factors: ideology and money.

The War on Terror has been an ongoing fixture in the world long enough that soon an entire generation of young adults will know of nothing before the creation of TSA, Homeland Security and the Twin Towers destruction.  Yet, in this 14 year period, trillions of dollars have been thrown at a military and diplomatic solution with no appreciable end in sight.  A change in focus from military solution to economic solution might generate different or more effective results.

The rise of terrorism through fourth wave terror tactics in the past century brought the word terrorism to the forefront of the minds of the global population.  However as more and more terror organizations raise their pennants, a rudimentary analysis of each group shows a unifying theme among each.  When difficult decisions between embracing ideology counter to the organization or a stable funding stream, ideology appears to be less of a consideration in the organizations presented in this paper.  The terrorist organizations: ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the FARC, all represent extremely large, semi-multinational terror organizations with different ideology.  Each accrues funding via different methods, but each’s method of funding is highly contrary to their core beliefs.  The illegitimacy of the organization’s operational methods necessitates illicit activities, however a strong embrace of activities starkly opposed to the organization’s ideology indicate that ideology is truly not a key driving principle in terrorist operations.

Research Question

  Are finances via commodities or money a greater enabling factor for terrorist organizations than ideology?

1

Figure 1:  Approximate Costs for Terrorist Attack[5]

Fourth Wave terrorism focuses on targeting civilian populace in order to incite terror and force political concessions. Routinely, organizations receive massive amounts of capital from benefactors (Princes, religious institutions, etc.) for work which is purportedly ideologically driven.  A terrorist attack attempts to replicate the effects of a weapon system that costs orders of magnitude more.  The average cost estimate for a suicide vest is $1,200 and a vehicle borne IED ranges from $13,000 to $20,000.[6]  It is estimated that the September 11th attacks cost approximately $500,000 dollars.[7]  Figure 1 shows several high profile terrorist attacks and the costs associated to execute.  To put it in perspective, the attack which rocked our nation cost less than seven Hellfire missiles or four F-15 sorties in fuel costs alone.  Therefore, if the costs for an attack are so low, then there shouldn’t be a need for such astronomical funding seen with terrorist organizations.  It appears that fourth wave terrorism is a business and not a true ideological movement.

 

Hypothesis

“There are two things a brother must always have for jihad, the self and money”

                                                                        -An Al-Qaeda Operative, Date Unknown

 

Terrorist financing is a key cornerstone to terrorist operations.  Even in the first wave terrorist assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princeps needed funding assistance to procure a pistol with the help of the Black Hand.  Current techniques in theater involve disrupting supply lines of ammunition or finding weapon caches.  They focus on steps upstream from the terrorist attacks.  TSA focuses on preventing terrorists from boarding an aircraft.  Homeland Security attempts to track down terrorists within our borders before they can attack.  All of these techniques are interdiction style attacks.  They prevent the terrorist from conducting the attack.  Measures to prevent the terrorist from becoming a terrorist in the first place are lacking.

The hypothesis for this research paper is as follows:  Financial support for terrorist organizations is a greater stimulus for terrorist attacks than ideology alone.  The premise does not state that all terrorist attacks are financially driven and that there are zero psychopathic terrorists who conduct atrocities for an ideology alone.  Rather it looks to challenge the current power dynamic of ideology versus funding.  If people can be paid to be a terrorist, their “hearts and minds” cannot be affected by pro-democracy rhetoric and kind gestures.  Perhaps their “hearts and minds” can be bribed or fined out of being a terrorist.

This hypothesis is correct due to extensive evidence that terrorist organizations rely on a highly structured financial system in order to function.  Fourth wave terrorists are not ideologues, but rather are mercenaries or employees for Terrorism Inc.  They are promised benefits such as slave brides and wasta.  Through research I will show that organizations with impacted funding suffer significantly in capability with both historical accounts and statistical data.  Bankrupting ideology in a terrorist organization has measurably less effect than financially bankrupting the same organization with respect to operational capacity.

 

 

Literature Review

Terror Enabling Factors

            Terrorism does not operate in a vacuum.  Like any system, it requires inputs, a structure and methodology to process those inputs and then outputs.  Like all living systems, a fundamental goal of a terror organization is to propagate.  The methods of propagation are the enabling factors which facilitate the existence and survival of the organization.

Poverty is often cited as the primary impetus for terrorists, with our own State Department declaring more jobs would decrease terrorist numbers.  Alberto Abadie’s ground breaking research shows that poverty is actually less of an enabling factor for terrorist radicalization: “…I fail to find a significant association between terrorism and economic variables such as income once the effect of other country characteristics is taken into account”.[8]  The primary characteristic is the degree of political freedom available to the populace.[9]  Terrorism is not necessarily a refuge for a poor individual, but rather one who experiences a certain spectrum of political freedom instead.

Terror financing is a core terror enabling factor.  Consuming approximately 5% of the global financial output, it is difficult to argue capital is not an important factor for terror organizations.[10]  Financing does not particularly mean electronic transactions and large bank accounts.[11]  It can also refer to commodity transfer.  For instance, the Taliban actually avoids using currency in rural towns, but instead trades opium instead.  Commanders maintain warehouses of opium with accounts where they can make withdrawals to pay for things like a drug ATM of sorts.[12]  Thus, while the drug funding produces hard capital, it also provides a currency and means of exchange on top of that.  ISIS preferred a more western means of capital management; bank robberies and nationalization of private and former state assets.[13]  Financing is obviously a key enabling factor as all of these terror organizations structure themselves around their individual business models.

Ideology is described as an enabling factor as well.  Dr. Guanartna states that “ideology is the center of gravity of the contemporary wave of extremism and terrorism”.[14]  The research shows that organizational structure, membership and leadership all are defined and framed by the ideology of the group.  Many groups are born due to a unique ideology, such as Al-Qaeda which began as Osama Bin Laden’s “Islamic rapid reaction force available to intervene wherever Muslims were perceived to be threatened”.[15]  However, the ideology changes with time as the organization changes.  Ideology may be a key component in the startup of a terror organization, but it is subject to evolution the longer an organization remains operational.[16]

 

Terror Funding Methods

            Terror funding is multifaceted as no predominant currency exists for terror organizations.  A combination of commodities, currency, influence and fear make up the composite funding infrastructure.[17][18][19][20]

Crime is the most universal method.  As Cook argues concerning the FARC’s initial funding methods: “small-scale guerrilla movements are primarily predatory and rely on financing methods such as episodic extortion, bank robbing, and random kidnappings”.[21]  According to Gomez, crime is one of the more fundamental methods for Al-Qaeda cells to generate income.  This also applies to ISIS who generates 12% of its income from extortion and crime according to Brisard and Martinez.[22]  Even the Taliban, an organization formed to fight thieves eventually became a drug peddling criminal organization.[23]  Overall, crime seems to form the base level financial backbone for most terror organizations.  In the business world, venture capitalists provide seed funding for a startup.  In the terror world, crime is that source of seed funding.

Narcotics, while a commodity, are somewhat different from economy based terror funding models as the profit margins are enormous compared to terrorist produced cement and oil.  The Taliban, as Peters extols, generates sizable income from their drug crops.[24]  The same is true concerning the FARC according to Cook.[25]

Commodities are the primary domain of ISIS financing.  The global trade of oil, phosphate, natural gas and agriculture products has revolutionized terror funding.[26]  While Peters describes commodity traded of opium, it is on a small scale in comparison to Brisard’s analysis of the ISIS economy.[27]  Control of natural resources by terrorist organizations allows commodity to commodity trading, negating the need for banking infrastructure.[28]

 

Role of Ideology

Ideology, according to Dr. Guanartna, is the key factor in creating and sustaining a terror organization.[29]  All of the terror organizations profiled started due to a unique ideology.  Brahimi tells the story of the Taliban’s start with an egregious crime conducted against civilians generating a ‘warrior monk’ kind of uprising to purify the country from criminals.[30]  Al-Qaeda’s Muslim rapid reaction force founding concept, according to Rollins, received massive amounts of support throughout the Muslim community via charity donations and ideologues.[31]  Otis explains in his work that the FARC started off as a Communist enclave attempting to defend itself from right wing paramilitary organizations.[32]  Even ISIS crystalized by Zarqawi’s attempt to conduct operations in an ideologically pure manner not associated with corrupt benefactors.[33]  However, ideology seems to be of waning importance as explained by Gretchen Peters in her assessment of the Taliban’s evolving ideology: “…and according to recent NATO military intelligence, as few as 5 percent of insurgent commanders now fight for ideological reasons”.[34]

 

Role of Funding

“Money is the oxygen of terrorism”

-Former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell

 

Terrorism requires a substantial amount of capital in order sustain operations.  As Ashley states in his work: “economic activity related to terrorism accounts for a staggering $1.5 trillion”.[35]  Organizations such as ISIS generate approximately $2.9 billion annually.[36]  The FARC’s drug production generates approximately $18 to $39 billion in revenue for the entire distribution system.[37]  The revenue funds administration, operations and infrastructure.

Administrative costs run organizations upwards of 90% of their revenue.[38]  At times, decreased administrative funding lead to a temporary ‘firing’ of jihadi’s due to inability to pay salaries.  Peters explains that administrative costs, such as fighter pay, comprises a significant amount of terror finances as Taliban fighters make $1800 annually when the mean income is less than $500 annually.[39]  Therefore, organizations such as the Taliban place a premium on high wages and thus high administrative costs.[40]

Operations are the obvious result of terror funding, but represent a small fraction of the total revenue.  Gomez explains that Al-Qaeda had a $30 million annual revenue stream prior to 9/11.[41]  The 9/11 attacks, the most expensive terrorist attack in history to that date, cost approximately 1.6% of Al-Qaeda’s revenue.[42]  Therefore, operational costs and spending are relatively low when it comes to non-personnel related costs.

Organizations such as the FARC re-invest revenue into their infrastructure and provide services to their ‘citizens’.[43]  The same is true for ISIS as well, as the taxes levied go to pay for urban services.[44]  Other organizations, such as the Taliban, use the funding to pay for influence.  This includes the accumulation of weapon systems and growth of poppies.  Many of these organizations plow back their revenue to build capacity, just like a corporation.

 

Theory and Methodology

            Current prevailing theories in counter terrorism look towards ideology as the “center of gravity” for both constructing and dismantling terrorist organizations.[45]  Dr. Gunaratna expands upon this point, by targeting specific steps in order to counter the ideology.  This deradicalization and concept of ideology being the core reason for radical behavior is the predominant theory.  The phrase “winning the hearts and minds” became a mantra for the world’s counterterror movement.  It was thought that if potential or current terrorists understood that western culture was more beneficial to their immediate and future wellbeing than terror activities, the population would lack the key ingredients needed to be radicalized.  The concept of winning over the terrorist support structure makes the strategy more of a popularity contest than a true fight.

Dr. Gunaratna’s paper and many other proponents of the ideology driven terrorist theory claim that “misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the Islamic belief system” is how organizations justify such terrible actions.[46]  However, this argument fails to address the clearly ideologically incongruous actions that many supporters of the organization partake.  While all terrorist organizations have such contradictions, ISIS presents an interesting illustration of this point.  Under ISIS, Yazidi sex slaves are explained away as moral and supported by Islam as they conduct ‘weddings’.[47]  Homosexuals are thrown from buildings as ideologically such behavior warrants the death penalty in their strict interpretation of the Koran.[48]  Drugs are also punishable by death, but only when it is convenient[49].  When ISIS took Kirkuk, they banned smoking (a form of drug usage) outright.  Merchants were punished and stock burned in the streets.[50]  However a few days later, ISIS leaders scrambled to reverse the edict as the populace of Kirkuk rose up in fierce opposition to the smoking ban.[51]  Suddenly, what was punishable by death and justified ideologically, was now tolerated out of convenience.  This represents how ideology is a thin veil over hidden machinery with an alternate source of power.  If showing inconsistencies in ideology was the key method of dismantling a terrorist organization, ISIS would be collapsing from its own inconsistencies.  Ideology seems to be a golem for a more indefinable force of social attraction.

Arguing ideology with a terror organization or fanatic cannot be the most efficient method of defeating it.  Therefore within the current counterterror framework, this essay attempts to highlight the true source of power for terrorist organizations.  While the undefined force of social attraction certainly does attract and hold onto organizational members, it is the finances which truly forms the skeleton of the organization.  As the finances grow, so does the capacity of the organization to maintain more and more members.  This paper will show how much of a positive correlation finances have with operational capacity and demonstrate how ideology has little to no effect on operations.

 

Methodology

            In the business world, businesses file taxes with the IRS and publish annual reports for their investors.  Using both documents, one may identify the true performance of a business.  Knowing how the company re-invests its revenue and how the plowed back shares increase sales or services for the next quarter provides useful information to potential investors.  This is the same principle for examining the link between terrorist finances and terrorist operational capacity.  However, instead of tax returns and investor reports, terrorist organizations publish their production numbers via attacks and their revenue streams via government agency assessments of terror funding.

In order to identify a link between funding and activity, data must be gathered on both and plotted together.  For some organizations, such data is readily available due to straight forward organizational structure and high levels of international interest.  Other organizations are less prone to accurate assessments due to decentralized organizational structures and lower levels of scrutiny.  The global drug war funded several agencies to counter the scourge, but also document the success and failures of policy and tactics.  As many terrorist organizations fund themselves via drug profits, there exists extensive records on drug cultivation levels associated with certain terrorist organizations.[52]  On the activity side, terrorist activities are somewhat overt and easily observed as the point is to terrorize the populace.  Several agencies, such as the UN, compile comprehensive reports on terror activities for individual organizations.[53]  Therefore, the comparison of drug sales and terror activities is relatively straight forward.

Organizations which do not lend themselves to such empirical data analysis require investigation into policy changes regarding finances and subsequent terror activity levels.  This historical information does not provide numerical results.  Instead it shows a pattern of activity and the subsequent result of operating under that policy.  With organizations that fall into this category, the important driving principle is analyzing if a positive ideological change boosts terror operations or if the opposite, coupled with increased finances, leads to increased operations.  While not quantifiable, general trends and observations may be made under this portion of the methodology.

Combining both the numerical data and historic evidence provides a comprehensive analysis of finances and ideological impact on terror activities.  A strict adherence to empirical data analysis may overlook influencing factors while only looking at historical policy changes and subsequent activity lacks definitive results.  A combination of the two methods brings context and data analysis together.

 

Analysis and Findings

            The four case studies presented in this paper all contain historical indications of positive correlations of increased funding and increased terror activity.  However, two of the terror groups lend themselves to statistical analysis due to published data pertaining to number of terror attacks and fundraising abilities.  The Taliban and FARC have significant amounts of research data associated with each organization.  Unfortunately, Al-Qaeda and ISIS do not have similar statistically significant data sources due to either the loose organizational structure or the relative youth of the organization respectively.  The following section uses a combination of statistical analysis and historical observation to prove the hypothesis correct.  Due to the nature of the organizations studied, proxies must be used to measure activity (capacity) and finances.  Terrorist organizations generate revenue from a variety of legal and illegal activities.  As no formal ledgers exist to measure the finances of these organizations, activity in select revenue generating activities provides a proxy measure for financial capacity of the organization.  Additionally, terrorist attacks are not the only activities terrorists partake in.  Terrorist organizations have massive overhead, investment and day to day operational costs which consume large amounts of capital.[54]  Therefore, terrorist attacks represent a proxy for terrorist activity in this essay.

 

FARC

The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Columbia (FARC) is the first subject studied.  A communist/leftist group of outcasts from the Columbian Civil War in 1948, the band of guerillas formed a unified movement after Columbian military attempted to destroy the Communist enclaves they created in the Columbian countryside in 1966.[55]   It remained relatively low intensity through the 1970s, conducting attacks of opportunity and funding operations via extortion and kidnappings.  The US crackdown on marijuana smuggling routes in the late 1970s and early 1980s created a vacuum in the drug market, opening up the window to Columbian trafficking groups.[56]  The independent communist enclave guerilla groups met in 1982 at the “Seventh Guerrilla Conference” and in a great stroke of irony embraced free market capitalism by cultivating and selling cocoa in order to fund their anti-capitalist campaign.[57]

The change in primary funding resulted in a complete shift in the organizational structure of FARC.  It resulted in formalized planning cells, financial commissions, general staff formation and the shift from a defensive to an offensive conflict.  As an added incentive as Cocoa production provided impetus for aggressive territorial conquest, increasing funds available for each acre seized.  Due to the left leaning philosophy, FARC differed from usual narco-traffickers by taking care of the peasant cocoa growers by protecting them from narco-traffickers and raising the price of cocoa.[58]  FARC operated more as a government, effectively using proceeds like taxes to build infrastructure for their subjects.[59]  Thus, only with additional funding and resources could FARC continue to grow.  The more money brought in by cocoa trafficking lead to more money for public works projects which in turn recruited more peasant farmers to the FARC cause, which yielded more power.[60]  The explosive growth of FARC is a direct product of increased funding via cocoa trafficking.  This supports the hypothesis by demonstrating organizational growth and increased activity during periods of increased cash flow, independent of ideological shifts.

The FARC, as aforementioned uses coca production as the primary means of fueling the terrorist activities.  Should ideology be the driving factor for group strength and growth, strict enforcement of core ideological principles should show a marked increase in activity, while principle abandonment should show a decrease.  Should financing be the primary growth factor, then increased income yields increased activity and negative income yields negative trending activity.  For the comparison finances and activity, those two metrics have been combined on one chart.

The group activity is measured in attacks per year specifically on the energy infrastructure.  While a somewhat focused and narrow form of attack, the EI attacks represent a clear directed attack against national interests.  In order to develop a data set for correlation analysis, the plot of EI attacks in Columbia (Figure 2), from Giroux’s research study was interpolated and recorded within intervals of five attacks.[61]  The plotted data graphically mirrored Giroux’s plot.

2

Figure 2: Columbia Infrastructure Attacks[62]

The funding aspect of the analysis uses cultivatable hectares of land for Cacao production.  An increase in hectares results in an increase in drug production.  This metric does not account for shipping, sales or interception losses/volatility, but raw production capability.   This metric assumes supply levels remain below demand at all times.  Similar to the IA data, the cultivation area has been interpolated from Brittain’s plot of estimated coca cultivation levels compiled from the ongoing War on Drugs (Figure 3).[63]  The plotted interpolated data graphically mirrored Brittain’s plot.  For the comparison chart, Brittain’s data was normalized for visual purposes.

3Figure 3: Estimated Levels of Coca Cultivation[64]

The subsequent combination of the two data sets results in the Figure 4 plot.  Using the correlation tool on Excel, there is a strong positive correlation between terrorist activity (IA) and increased finances (Coca production capacity) of .73.  In that measure, 0 represents no correlation and 1 represents perfect correlation with .73 demonstrating a significant correlation between the two.

4

Figure 4: FARC attacks plotted against Coca Cultivation

Correlation is certainly not causation, however the observed trends absolutely demonstrate that terror activity and financial capacity are linked.  The increase in terror activity in the 1990s simply shows that additional finances allowed the organization to surge past their drug funded capacity.  The spike shows a disconnect between ideology and capacity, but a strong correlation between finances and capacity instead for the FARC.  Ever since the abandonment of Communist core principles in the Seventh Guerilla Conference, the FARC’s operational capacity has increased dramatically with an increase in funding.[65]

 

Taliban

The Taliban somewhat ironically gained its start as an uprising in the 1990s against depraved criminals who terrorized the Aghan countryside killing and exploiting helpless civilians, which today might be the best description of the Taliban.  The general premise for the founding involved Mullah Omar witnessing the massacre of a family at a checkpoint in 1994 .[66]  The graphic rape, torture and desecration of the bodies of the victims resulted in Omar gathering together as many ‘Talibs’ or religious students as he could find in order to collect, wash and bury the bodies.[67]  According to accounts, this started his campaign with the Talibs (Taliban) to eradicate the criminals who committed these atrocities.[68]  This Hollywood plot quickly changed directions with various benefactors from Pakistan, resulting in an overall goal of disarming all the warring criminal militias, emplace and enforce an Islamic law and rule via Sharia Law all areas captured and controlled by the Taliban.[69]  The strict Islamist Sharia observers bent rules to allow the growth of their own power until taking Kabul.  After seizing the capital city, the Taliban changed its acceptance of Sharia violations and strictly enforced a literal application of Islamic Law ruthlessly.[70]  The resulting terror and horrors experienced by the people under the oppressive regime transformed the country into a hotbed of terrorist training, recruiting and activity.

This terrorist organization nearly provides a control and experimental group within itself regarding funding and ideology.  As aforementioned, the Taliban raged through Afghanistan in the 1990’s, conquering, bribing or coercing warlords to support their reign.[71]  The warlords maintained power via opium trade, financed by narcotics.  The Taliban assessed a 10% tax on the opium profits in order to fund the takeover of Afghanistan.[72]  Highly fundamentalist, the Taliban outlawed TV, music, cannabis, alcohol and opium consumption; yet it openly supported opium production and trade early during the conquest years.[73]  This provided funding in addition to that of benefactors such as Osama Bin Laden, allowing the eventual taking of Kabul.[74]

Upon taking Kabul, the Taliban decreed that production and trade of opium was illegal.  The Taliban suspended certain aspects of ideology which were inconvenient or detrimental to funding operations only until the point where the funding was not perceived necessary and they could once again adopt the ideology.[75]  However, the US invasion of Afghanistan caused another crisis for the Taliban.  They could either remain ideologically strong and fund the war via Sharia compliant means, or break with ideology in order to raise funds via opium trade.  The Taliban of course began wholescale opium production in order to sustain their political operations and resistance.  This case study is an excellent example that ideology with major terrorist organizations is second only to finances, supporting the proposed hypothesis.

The Taliban represent an interesting case study as they throttled a major revenue source based upon ideology.  The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan resulted in an immediate reversal of ideological principles in order to raise funds to fight the invaders.  Since drug use is absolutely forbidden in the Taliban’s ideology (death penalty), drug culture is counter to a very key core principle.[76]  Should ideology be the driving principle of terror capacity, then the enforcement of anti-drug laws should show a marked increase in operational capacity.  However, the counter seems to be proven when the appropriate data is cross plotted.  For this study, operational capacity is measured in proxy by terror attacks.  Funding is measured by proxy in poppy production, similar to the FARC study.

The Taliban study provides an interesting and difficult measurement due to the difference between military operations and terror activities.  In this study, military operations of the Taliban against Coalition forces are not counted.  Instead, only insurgent style attack data is used to measure capacity from the 2015 Global Terrorism Index.[77]  The data, similar to the FARC study, was extrapolated to the nearest 100 using the Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria model.[78]  Due to recent events with ISIS, the data analysis terminates in 2010 in order to measure Taliban predominant operations.  The plotted data graphically mirrors the 2015 GTI plot in Figure 5.[79]

5

Figure 5: Number of terrorist attacks in Taliban territory[80]

 

A significant portion of the Taliban’s funding comes from the heroin trade.  Poppy production represents the core raw ingredient for heroin.  The UNODC 2010 Afghanistan Opium Survey provides an assessment of potential opium production by year in Figure 6[81].  Of note is the significant decrease between 2009 and 2010 caused by a crop disease which decreased opium production by 48%.  Since the chart provided figures, no extrapolation was needed to generate workable data for analysis.  Additionally, neither data set was normalized for visual purposes.

6

Figure 6: Opium production in Afghanistan under Taliban[82]

When cross plotted in Figure 7, there is a significant visual positive correlation between poppy production and terror attacks.  Of note, the poppy production increases and decreases lead the increases and decreases of terror attacks, indicating a potential causation trend.  The correlation value of .84 shows a high rate of correlation between opium production and terror activities.  Looking at the 2009 to 2010 decrease in opium production shows a lagging decrease in terror activities as well.  While other factors, such as U.S. combat troops, may affect terror operations, the strong correlation shows opium levels and terror levels are linked.

7

Figure 7: Taliban activity plotted against opium production

The Taliban’s operations seem to be closely tied to opium production, counter to Taliban principles.  Additional means of generating revenue for the Taliban include kidnappings, murder and extortion.[83]  All of these are ideologically at odds with the Taliban fundamental beliefs.  In the early 2000’s the Taliban enforced ideology with no appreciable increase in activity.[84]  The subsequent abandonment of ideology lead to massive increases in operational capacity.  When the funding mechanism suffered from natural disasters, so did terror capacities.  Peter’s states that: “[…] according to recent NATO military intelligence, as few as 5 percent of insurgent commanders now fight for ideological reasons” and further explains “More than 80 percent of those surveyed for this project believe Taliban commanders in the south now fight for profit rather than religion or ideology”.[85]  Such bold assertions generated from research and survey data strongly bolster the hypothesis that finances are a greater influence for terror organizations than ideology.

 

Al-Qaeda

As aforementioned, some organizations do not lend themselves to analysis in the same way as the Taliban and FARC.  Al-Qaeda is a worldwide terror group which relies on decentralized operations in order to survive.  Therefore, the analysis of Al-Qaeda is based primarily on historical policy decisions and organizational performances.

Al-Qaida’s formed in 1988 as an offshoot of volunteer Arab fighters who augmented the Afghan Mujahidin during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[86]  The victory against the Soviets inspired Osama Bin Laden and peers to build an organization referred to as ‘the base’, or Al-Qaeda, which could serve as a Muslim quick reaction force for any Middle East conflicts.[87]  The general concept was to be able to either rapidly deploy Muslim fighters to areas where Muslims were being persecuted or to fight against secular leaders within their own states.  Bin Laden cared more for the latter, and upon the death of his associate Azzam, he took over the finances of the group.[88]  While pro-US after the Afghan war, he quickly turned anti-US after being snubbed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when he offered his quick reaction force as an army to repel the Iraqi invaders.[89]  Al-Qaeda took a strategic turn after this and focused on destroying the perceived sponsor of all secular states:  the United States.[90]

Al-Qaeda represents the more traditional method of terrorist financing.  The organization operates in a cellular structure, encouraging individual cells to self-finance for day to day operation via crime (theft, etc) and uses donations from benefactors and charitable organizations to augment operational funds for the cells.[91]  A highly ideological organization, Al-Qaeda readily admits the importance of funding when Mustafa Abu al Yazid (an Al-Qaeda leader) stated “many of the mujahidin have been inactive and failing to participate in jihad through lack of money”.[92]  In essence, lack of money results in lack of sufficient ideological support to keep pressing combat operations against the enemy.  Current funding strategies include shadow ownership of large companies such as telecommunications, commercial centers and financial entities.[93]  Therefore, it follows that Al-Qaeda must embrace successful business strategies for these numerous companies in order to maintain steady funding.  Currently overshadowed by ISIS, Al-Qaeda has lost much of its luster, requiring payments from the IS in order to sustain operations.[94]  Should ideology be the sole or most important factor in Al-Qaeda, a decrease in funding should not affect day to day operations.  However, the contrary is true as Al-Qaeda embraces drug trafficking, crime and kidnapping in order to sustain itself, completely abandoning the core ideological principles it professes to fight for, supporting the proposed hypothesis.

 

ISIS

Similarly to Al-Qaeda, ISIS is difficult to analyze from a numerical perspective due to its relative youth.  As ISIS funding becomes a hot button topic around the world and accurate reports of attacks and finances trickle out, it is difficult to find reliable substantive empirical data on oil production quantities and number of attacks.  Similar to the early Taliban years, ISIS is embroiled in a full scale war with funding needs far higher than isolated terrorist attacks.  Therefore, analysis of ISIS finances and operational capacity are historically based similar to Al-Qaeda.

ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as Daesch, is the first terrorist organization to bring terrorist funding to an altogether new level.  Formerly known as Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) and formed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2003, ISIS went through several permutations during the U.S. occupation of Iraq as it adapted to the ever changing security dynamics.[95]  ISIS grew from a small terrorist organization into a virtual nation state.

In 2006, the organization had an annual income of 200 million dollars generated from criminal activities, such as ransoms and robberies.[96]  Later that year the group incorporated oil smuggling into their funding stream, effectively creating a self-sustaining insurgency according to US intelligence assessments.  With an extreme focus on raising funds, ISIS (AQI at the time) actually began funding competitive terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda.[97]  Assessments of operating budgets from captured documents showed that foreign donations accounted for less than 7 percent of gross from 2005 to 2010; a clear indication that ideology (via donations) was not driving the organization.[98]  This self-sufficiency actually allowed the organization to abandon sponsored ideology and operate autonomously, supporting the proposed hypothesis.

ISIS diversified funding via a revolutionary concept of operating as a terrorist state.[99]  They began collecting taxes on goods, income taxes, import taxes, ‘protection’ taxes and numerous other levies.[100]  The increased sales of oil, products, increased bank robberies and extortion activities raised that annual 200 million self-sustaining income to an explosive 2.9 billion dollars annually with over 2 trillion dollars in assets.[101]  This brought ISIS from a terrorist threat to an army that is resisting the combined aerial bombardment campaign of two super powers and a handful of other countries.

The tie between operational capacity and finances is indisputable with regards to ISIS.  The sheer revenue stream dwarfs other terrorist organizations.  The ISIS example actually disproves the importance of ideology in terror organizations as well.  The organization has routinely contradicted its ideology whenever it benefited the organization.  Murder, rape and theft are all punishable by death or mutilation, yet the organization routinely leans on all three to profit and grow their influence.  The sale of oil to the west is ideologically at odds with the founding of the organization.  AQI adamantly opposed western troops in the Islamic holy land, yet ISIS implores the US government to send troops so ISIS warriors can kill them on the same holy land.  If ideology was an important factor for terror organizational strength, ISIS would have self-immolated years ago.  Instead, money is the true driving force behind ISIS and ideology is a thin veneer designed to white wash a money hungry criminal enterprise.

 

Conclusion

 

Contemporary counter insurgency techniques focus on the ideology as the center of gravity for terrorist operations.  The logic is comforting as it demonstrates a non-violent and understandable method of combating terrorists.  Disprove the ideology and undermine the entire organization.  In the example of Islamic terrorism from Dr. Gunaratna: “empowering mainstream progressive Muslim leaders…counter[s] the growing influence of extremists and negating the appeal of a misinterpreted version of Islam”.[102]  The above sections demonstrated through data and historical evidence that even core ideological principles change dramatically and often within terror organizations.  Such as the smoking ban in Mosul, the ideologues abandon core ideology for social cohesion.[103]  Ideology falls on a lower hierarchy of needs for a terrorist organization than several other factors.

Funding truly stimulates terrorist growth and activity.  AQI readily admitted that it hated the ideological strings were attached to its funding.  It wanted unconditional funding, so it turned to economy based terror funding.  Effectively, groups like Al Qaeda, ISIS, FARC and the Taliban are mercenaries.  While some may follow ideology when times allow, in times of need, ideology is readily sacrificed to partake in capitalism, drug trade, assassination and sex crimes as long as it generates income.  The previous sections demonstrated incredibly high positive correlations to funding changes and operational capacity changes for terrorist organizations.  Ideology seemed to have negligible correlation at all with terror activities.  In fact, the abandonment of core ideological principles allowed unfettered access to previously forbidden capital markets.  If analyzed in that perspective, strict adherence to ideology has a negative correlation to operational capacity due to its impact on funding.

While this paper does not intend to criticize counter insurgency policies, tactics or laws, it simply provides strong evidence of other motivational forces for terror organizations.  While this research finds financial incentive far greater of an influence than ideology, this does not mean all counter-terror forces should trade M-4’s for Ti-89 calculators.  Rather, the synergistic effect of ruthlessly attacking financial infrastructure while dismantling the false ideological narrative will hinder both the organization’s reputation and social appeal.

 

Bibliography

Abadie, Alberto. Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism. Cambridge: Harvard University, 2004.

 

Al-Khalidi, Suleiman. Here’s How ISIS Keeps Selling So Much Oil Even While Being Bombed And Banned By The West. October 25, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/r-islamic-state-keeps-up-syrian-oil-flow-despite-us-led-strikes-2014-10.

 

Alsema, Adriaan. Drug Trafficking in Columbia. August 04, 2015. http://colombiareports.com/drug-trafficking-in-colombia/ (accessed December 04, 2015).

 

Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: 9-26.

 

Barrett, Richard. The Islamic State. New York: The Soufan Group, 2014.

 

Boyd, Kevin. ISIS Has Declared A War On Drugs. Now Heavily Armed Drug Lords Are Banding Together To Fight Back. January 23, 2015. http://www.ijreview.com/2015/01/230454-isis-declared-war-drugs-lebanons-drug-lords-preparing-fight-back/ (accessed December 25, 2015).

 

Brahimi, Alia. The Taliban’s Evolving Ideology. London: LSE Global Governance, 2010.

 

Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. Islamic State: The Economy-Based Terrorist Funding . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014.

 

Brittain, James J. “Columbia and America’s War on Drugs.” Global Research, 2009: 1-3.

 

Callimachi, Rukmini. ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. August 13, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html (accessed December 25, 2015).

 

Chiaramonte, Perry. Death Plunge: ISIS throws gay men off buildings under guise of Sharia law. June 06, 2015. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/05/death-fall-isis-continues-to-throw-gay-men-off-buildings-under-guise-sharia-law.html (accessed December 25, 2015).

 

Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: 19-36.

 

Franzen, Simon. Unity in Terrorism. London: The Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, 2010.

 

Giroux, Jennifer, Peter Burgherr, and Laura Melkunaite. “Research Note on the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD).” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2013: Vol 7, No 6.

 

Gómez, Juan Miguel del Cid. “A Financial Profile of the Terrorism of Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates.” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2010: 3-27.

 

Gunaratna, Rohan. “Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Getting Ahead of Terrorism Part II: The Ideological Response.” THE JEBSEN CENTER FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM STUDIES RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES , 2007: 1-13.

 

Institute for Economics and Peace. Global Terrorism Index 2015: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism. Summary, College Park: National Consortium For the Study of Terrorism and Rsponses to Terrorism, 2015.

 

Otis, John. The FARC and Columbia’s Illegal Drug Trade. The Wilson Center; Latin American Program, 2014.

 

Pert, Rafael. Taliban and the Drug Trade. Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service: The Library of Congress, 2011.

 

Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009.

 

Rollins, John. Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2010.

 

Roth, J. “Al Qaeda’s Means and Methods to Raise, Move and Use Money.” National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States: Monograph on Terrorist Financing, 2003: 120-122.

 

Staff Writer. ISIS reverts smoking ban in Kirkuk ‘to gain popularity’. September 22, 2014. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2014/09/22/ISIS-reverts-smoking-ban-in-Kirkuk.html.

 

Tait, Robert. ISIS’ half-a-billion-dollar bank heist makes it world’s richest terror group. June 14, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10899995/ISIS-half-a-billion-dollar-bank-heist-makes-it-worlds-richest-terror-group.html.

 

Temple-Raston, Dina. How Much Does A Terrorist Attack Cost? A Lot Less Than You’d Think. June 25, 2014. http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/06/25/325240653/how-much-does-a-terrorist-attack-cost-a-lot-less-than-you-think.

 

U.S. Congress. “Congressional Record, V. 153, PT. 4, .” Congressional Record, V. 153, PT. 4, . Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2007. 5514-5515.

 

United Nations. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010 Summary Findings. Summary Findings, Vienna: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, 2010.

 

[1] Tait, Robert. ISIS’ half-a-billion-dollar bank heist makes it world’s richest terror group. June 14, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10899995/ISIS-half-a-billion-dollar-bank-heist-makes-it-worlds-richest-terror-group.html.

[2] Al-Khalidi, Suleiman. Here’s How ISIS Keeps Selling So Much Oil Even While Being Bombed And Banned By The West. October 25, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/r-islamic-state-keeps-up-syrian-oil-flow-despite-us-led-strikes-2014-10.

[3] U.S. Congress. “Congressional Record, V. 153, PT. 4, .” Congressional Record, V. 153, PT. 4, . Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2007. p. 5514

[4] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 24

[5] Gómez, Juan Miguel del Cid. “A Financial Profile of the Terrorism of Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates.” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2010: 3-27. p. 4

[6] Temple-Raston, Dina. How Much Does A Terrorist Attack Cost? A Lot Less Than You’d Think. June 25, 2014. http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/06/25/325240653/how-much-does-a-terrorist-attack-cost-a-lot-less-than-you-think.

[7] ibid

[8] Abadie, Alberto. Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism. Cambridge: Harvard University, 2004. p. 9

[9] Ibid

[10] Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: p. 9

[11] ibid

[12] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 19

[13] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 5

[14] Gunaratna, Rohan. “Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Getting Ahead of Terrorism Part II: The Ideological Response.” THE JEBSEN CENTER FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM STUDIES RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES , 2007: p. 1

[15] Rollins, John. Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2010. p. 4

[16] ibid

[17] Alsema, Adriaan. Drug Trafficking in Columbia. August 04, 2015. http://colombiareports.com/drug-trafficking-in-colombia/ (accessed December 04, 2015).

[18] Tait, Robert. ISIS’ half-a-billion-dollar bank heist makes it world’s richest terror group. June 14, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10899995/ISIS-half-a-billion-dollar-bank-heist-makes-it-worlds-richest-terror-group.html.

[19] Roth, J. “Al Qaeda’s Means and Methods to Raise, Move and Use Money.” National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States: Monograph on Terrorist Financing, 2003: 120-122.

[20] Franzen, Simon. Unity in Terrorism. London: The Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, 2010.

[21] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 21

[22] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 9

[23] Brahimi, Alia. The Taliban’s Evolving Ideology. London: LSE Global Governance, 2010. p. 3

[24] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 17

[25] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 21

[26] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 9

[27] ibid

[28] Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: p. 9

[29] Gunaratna, Rohan. “Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Getting Ahead of Terrorism Part II: The Ideological Response.” THE JEBSEN CENTER FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM STUDIES RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES , 2007: p. 1

[30] Brahimi, Alia. The Taliban’s Evolving Ideology. London: LSE Global Governance, 2010. p. 3

[31] Rollins, John. Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2010. p. 4

[32] Otis, John. The FARC and Columbia’s Illegal Drug Trade. The Wilson Center; Latin American Program, 2014. p. 3

[33] Barrett, Richard. The Islamic State. New York: The Soufan Group, 2014. P. 11

[34] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 6

[35] Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: p. 10

[36] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 3

[37] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 36

[38] Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: p. 10

[39] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 24

[40] ibid

[41] Gómez, Juan Miguel del Cid. “A Financial Profile of the Terrorism of Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates.” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2010: 3-27. p. 3

[42] ibid

[43] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 24

[44] Barrett, Richard. The Islamic State. New York: The Soufan Group, 2014. P. 47

[45] Gunaratna, Rohan. “Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Getting Ahead of Terrorism Part II: The Ideological Response.” THE JEBSEN CENTER FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM STUDIES RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES , 2007: p. 1

[46] ibid

[47] Callimachi, Rukmini. ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. August 13, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html (accessed December 25, 2015).

[48] Chiaramonte, Perry. Death Plunge: ISIS throws gay men off buildings under guise of Sharia law. June 06, 2015. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/05/death-fall-isis-continues-to-throw-gay-men-off-buildings-under-guise-sharia-law.html (accessed December 25, 2015).

[49] Boyd, Kevin. ISIS Has Declared A War On Drugs. Now Heavily Armed Drug Lords Are Banding Together To Fight Back. January 23, 2015. http://www.ijreview.com/2015/01/230454-isis-declared-war-drugs-lebanons-drug-lords-preparing-fight-back/ (accessed December 25, 2015).

[50] Staff Writer. ISIS reverts smoking ban in Kirkuk ‘to gain popularity’. September 22, 2014. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2014/09/22/ISIS-reverts-smoking-ban-in-Kirkuk.html.

[51] ibid

[52] United Nations. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010 Summary Findings. Summary Findings, Vienna: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, 2010.

[53] United Nations. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010 Summary Findings. Summary Findings, Vienna: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, 2010.

[54] Ashley, Sean Paul. “The Future of Terrorist Financing: Fighting Terrorist Financing in the Digital Age .” Penn State Journal of InternatIonal affaIrS, 2012: p. 10

[55] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 20

[56] ibid

[57] ibid

[58] ibid

[59] ibid

[60] Cook, Thomas. “The Financial Arm of The FARC: A Threat Finance Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Security, 2011: p. 24

[61] Giroux, Jennifer, Peter Burgherr, and Laura Melkunaite. “Research Note on the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD).” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2013: Vol 7, No 6. p. 6

[62] ibid

[63] Brittain, James J. “Columbia and America’s War on Drugs.” Global Research, 2009: p. 1

[64] ibid

[65] Brittain, James J. “Columbia and America’s War on Drugs.” Global Research, 2009: p. 1

[66] Brahimi, Alia. The Taliban’s Evolving Ideology. London: LSE Global Governance, 2010. p. 3

[67] ibid

[68] ibid

[69] ibid

[70] ibid

[71] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 11

[72] ibid

[73] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 11

[74] ibid

[75] Pert, Rafael. Taliban and the Drug Trade. Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service: The Library of Congress, 2011. p. 2

[76] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 10

[77] Institute for Economics and Peace. Global Terrorism Index 2015: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism. Summary, College Park: National Consortium For the Study of Terrorism and Rsponses to Terrorism, 2015. p. 15

[78] ibid

[79] ibid

[80] ibid

[81] United Nations. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010 Summary Findings. Summary Findings, Vienna: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, 2010. p. 12

[82] United Nations. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010 Summary Findings. Summary Findings, Vienna: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, 2010. p. 12

[83] Pert, Rafael. Taliban and the Drug Trade. Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service: The Library of Congress, 2011. p. 3

[84] Peters, Gretchen. How Opium Profits the Taliban. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2009. p. 14

[85] ibid

[86] Rollins, John. Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2010. p. 4

[87] ibid

[88] ibid

[89] ibid

[90] ibid

[91] Roth, J. “Al Qaeda’s Means and Methods to Raise, Move and Use Money.” National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States: Monograph on Terrorist Financing, 2003: p. 22

[92] ibid

[93] Gómez, Juan Miguel del Cid. “A Financial Profile of the Terrorism of Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates.” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2010: 3-27. p. 10

[94] ibid

[95] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 3

[96] ibid

[97] Gómez, Juan Miguel del Cid. “A Financial Profile of the Terrorism of Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates.” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2010: 3-27. p. 4

[98] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 9

[99] Barrett, Richard. The Islamic State. New York: The Soufan Group, 2014. P. 45

[100] Brisard, Jean-Charles, and Damien Martinez. ISLAMIC STATE: THE ECONOMY-BASED TERRORIST FUNDING . New York City: Thompson Reuters, 2014. p. 9

[101] ibid

[102] Gunaratna, Rohan. “Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Getting Ahead of Terrorism Part II: The Ideological Response.” THE JEBSEN CENTER FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM STUDIES RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES , 2007: p. 11

[103] Staff Writer. ISIS reverts smoking ban in Kirkuk ‘to gain popularity’. September 22, 2014. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2014/09/22/ISIS-reverts-smoking-ban-in-Kirkuk.html.

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