Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on July 25, 2015

Bookmark and Share

ISIS Makes Three Times as Much from Oil Smuggling as Previously Thought

Two U.S. counter-terrorism officials tell NBC News that intelligence gathered from a U.S. raid in Syria details ISIS finances, revealing millions of dollars in oil wealth.

“The more time on target, the better the estimate,” a senior U.S. official told NBC News. U.S. intelligence agencies have spent a lot of “time on target” since the target, ISIS, emerged just over a year ago. As a result, their understanding of the group’s workings is becoming more intimate.

Oil smuggling, much of it to Turkey, is a key source of income for ISIS. The group uses the money in part to pay its fighters monthly salaries and provide stipends to their families. Foreign fighters tend to be the highest paid of the ISIS recruits, earning as much as a $1,000 a month, according to two Syrian sources.

ISIS, unlike al-Qaeda, sees itself as a state, providing an education and welfare system, which means the group has high running costs. Two U.S. counter-terrorism officials now tell NBC News that the amount of money ISIS can earn from selling and smuggling oil and gas is roughly to $8 to $10 million a month. The officials said this is the most accurate information they have had so far, calling previous estimates speculation.

“We have learned more about the internal market. ISIS sells oil and gas everywhere. It sells within Syria, and to the Syrian regime. It sells in Iraq. It is a more extensive and complex market than we assumed,” a senior counter-terrorism official said.

 Much of the new intelligence about ISIS finances was gathered during a U.S. commando raid into Syria two months ago. In the raid, Abu Sayyaf, considered by U.S. intelligence at the time to be the ISIS “money man,” was killed. His wife, known as Umm Sayyaf, was taken into U.S. custody. Computers were also seized from the compound during the raid.

Previous estimates published in the media and quoting intelligence sources have said ISIS can raise between one to three million dollars a day selling oil. Today, a US official said those earlier figures were based largely on speculation.

“Before the Abu Sayyaf raid, we had no real idea of how much money they were making from smuggling. There were a lot of figures circulating, but we just didn’t know,” he said

Speaking at a security conference in Aspen on Thursday, Daniel Glaser, assistant secretary of treasury for terrorist financing, said oil smuggling has been extremely lucrative for ISIS.

“There’s been a lot of numbers thrown out and all the numbers are soft,” Glaser said. “But I can say in a one-month period earlier this year, ISIL (ISIS) made about $40 million in one month off of the sale of oil. So if you want to extrapolate that out, you can get to about $500 million in the course a year, and this is all internally generated.”

But a senior counter-terrorism official said coalition airstrikes have reduced ISIS’s income from that $40 million dollar monthly high point.

“Yes, they made 40 million in a month when they were more or less unrestrained. Before the airstrikes, or in the early days of the airstrikes. In the early days, we were striking for humanitarian purposes, to save the Yazidi people (from ISIS) in the Sinjar mountains. After that, we started bombing the ISIS infrastructure, which put constraints on their ability to move, their ability to sell,” the official said.

Oil is only one source of income for the so-called Islamic State. Glaser, the administration official, said seizing money from Iraqi banks was a huge windfall for ISIS.

“I think the most important source of revenue for ISIS is the money that was in the bank vaults that was there when ISIL took control of the territory and in particular the bank vaults of the Bank of Iraq in Mosul, and the two big state-owned banks in Mosul but there were 90 private banks that had branches in ISIL-controlled territory,” he said.

“When you add all that up, the numbers come to $500 million and maybe a billion dollars. And that’s just in the bank vaults. That’s just to start with.The good news is that’s not renewable. Once they burn through that money, that’s money that will be no longer available to them.”

ISIS also continues to use traditional gangland-style methods to raise money: extortion, robbery and ransom. But as one U.S. counter terrorism official put it, “those are ‘mature’,” meaning ISIS has wrung about as much as they can from them.

ISIS taking high casualties, but replenishing its numbers

The U.S.-led coalition is inflicting heavy causalities against ISIS though airstrikes and local partners, but the group continues to replace its losses with new recruits.

“They’re taking a beating. They’re getting killed in high numbers. Forty to 90 a day are getting killed. That’s heavy losses, but they are still able to keep up the numbers,” a counter-terrorism official told NBC News.

14 Comments on "ISIS Makes Three Times as Much from Oil Smuggling as Previously Thought"

  1. BobInget on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 12:34 pm 

    NAIROBI… President Barack Obama told Kenya on Saturday the United States was ready to work more closely in the battle against Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab.

    partial list;

    al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, Taliban, The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), al-Nusra Front (KSA),
    Islamic State AKA ‘Daesh’ al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,(KSA) Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Abu Sayyaf…..

    Note: None of the principal nations, USA, Israel, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UK, EU, Canada are mentioned because they all have flags.
    Flags seem to entitle (see ISIS) any established nation to sponsor second and third party proxy terrorism, acts of war.

    What are the chances one of the above or
    some new recently franchised group will disrupt oil flows?

    Flooding US markets with Press Releases
    gloating over an North American ‘oil glut’
    will only be effective till the hour when it isn’t.

    The old saw, “Cure for low oil prices is low oil prices” wins every time. Trust me, there is NO reserve capacity, none. KSA’s wars have seen to that. The mystery is not where does a million barrels p/d go? We KNOW KSA’s ‘extra’ production is going to war.

    “2008” Ominously, it’s oil companies that are filing BK Not banks or housing or auto makers, or mortgage holders. When oil gets
    back over $150, there will be plenty of time
    for that action.

  2. BobInget on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 12:58 pm 

    I’ll Never predict long term victories for ‘Dash’
    (ISIS). Dash is sapping resources from all nations that have displeasure to come in contact. Between the US and KSA collations,
    forty nations all told, how much diesel and jet fuel would you guess is wastefully consumed?

    When so called ‘experts’ say this ‘war on terrorism’ will last years, they refuse to say, how many? I’v guessed twenty more, counting ten already served.

    No matter, ten more or twenty, no military solution, the only one offered, will stop the bleeding.

    We could start by putting an iron clad embargo on BUYING Dash oil products.

    Turkey has OVER two million mainly Syrian refugees with no way to support them. Now,
    forbid Turkey from buying and reselling Dash
    oil without compensation…
    Easy for the US to ban Dash imports, we have taken in sixty (60) Syrian Refugees.
    (that includes children)

  3. ghung on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 1:29 pm 

    Funny, this: The US president has urged Kenya to hold “visible” trials to tackle corruption, which he said could be the “biggest impediment” to further growth:”

    A US Prez lecturing Kenya on corruption. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  4. John Orr on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 4:40 pm 

    Anyone any idea why IS killed 30 Turks and military if they buy their oil????

  5. Jimmy on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 9:03 pm 

    Most Islamic State leaders were officers in Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Armed Forces. These guys had oil smuggling down to an art.

    Haji Bakr was the one who selected Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Caliph.

    As Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt collapse and the area returns to something more similar to what it was before the Sykes–Picot Agreement you will find people returning to tribal/clan sentiments and ethnic mythology, just like the people in former Yugoslavia did when it collapsed and just as people in USA’s old Confederate States are doing now as they suffer economically. ISIS is well in the lead to rule this tribal wasteland.

  6. apneaman on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 9:20 pm 

    Funny how people don’t like imperial powers defining their borders and offering the local psychopaths the carrot to enforce them with the stick. Apes have long memories.

  7. Jimmy on Sat, 25th Jul 2015 9:23 pm 

    oh and BTW: the USA didn’t do any significant strikes against ISIS for humanitarian purposes or to save the Yazidi people, and when they did it was only after much delay. USA didn’t start enthusiastically going after ISIS until ISIS started going after Iraqi refineries.

  8. joe on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 7:48 am 

    I don’t believe them. 40 to 90 a day was the US in Vietnam. Isis is not even that complex.
    Bombing cow sheds and tanks that have been hit several times as they move these things around to different sites is not defeating isis, they are non – kurdish sunni Arabs, they have been allowed to govern that part of the world because the US never did and does not have any strategic interest in it. The US is interested in a détente with Iran because it knows it has to control the last reserves of easy oil and gas.
    Isis can run all the illegal oil it wants. Isis is obviously being helped by other countries and even trades with Irans so called best ally President Assad of the rump Allawite state in what used to be called Syria. We are all being made fools of. I don’t believe anything they say about this region, it’s all about keeping them weak, fighting and dependent on the west for their survival. Even ISIS gets its weapons from the US every time the Shia army of Baghdad abandons another motorised division.

  9. John Orr on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 8:05 am 

    Thanks for the links Jimmy….great information

  10. joe on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 8:05 am 

    Like those links about isis leaders. Seems Paul Bremner III has allot to answer for in fact they lost the war the day they abandoned the Iraqi army. If they had known what was coming, the Iraq army might have made a fight of it. I wonder if it ever occurred to the neoconservatives that most Iraqis WERE on Americas side?
    At the end of ww2 the Japanese army were left in place to guard half of Asia even though they were beaten, despite the atrocities, I guess the greatest generation also had the greatest intelligence and courage too.

  11. Jimmy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 9:24 am 

    Here’s a good report on Haji Bakr

    The reason ISIS is doing so rather well is because its run by some very experienced officers. I guess the Bush Team just thought they’d all take it lying down. Nah, they rallied. Egypt is next on the list.

  12. Jimmy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 9:42 am 

    Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former Major in Egyptian Special Forces, defects to ISIS and calls for Ho,y War.

    The guys running ISIS are far from stupid. They’ll have a strangle hold on the worlds oil patch soon enough.

  13. Davy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 9:43 am 

    So, joe & jimmy what’s your point? The U.S. is doing what nations do. Of course the MSM tells us lies about why we are doing things in the ME. So what is magical and new? Do you want to feel better because you called out the evil USA? Feel better now?

    Why not get more sophisticated than your worn out anti-Americn agenda. You guys are a dime a dozen on the internet now. You want to feel heroic in your great fight against the evil US but in reality you impotent with zero effect.

    What is playing out is the end game and it does not make a bit of difference what nation or group succeeds we are all going down. The most important thing now is carrying capacity sustainability and resilience per your local. Get a grip boys.

  14. Jummy on Sun, 26th Jul 2015 7:11 pm 

    My point is to share the information that ISIS is run by former Saddam officers. It’s a little known point. Why don’t you stop being such a fucking idiot? I think I know the answer; you have a personality disorder. Fucking goof.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *