• 4 minutes Trump will meet with executives in the energy industry to discuss the impact of COVID-19
  • 8 minutes Charts of COVID-19 Fatality Rate by Age and Sex
  • 11 minutes Why Trump Is Right to Re-Open the Economy
  • 13 minutes Its going to be an oil bloodbath
  • 14 mins US Shale Resilience: Oil Industry Experts Say Shale Will Rise Again
  • 23 mins While China was covering up Covid-19 it went on an international buying spree for ventilators and masks. From Jan 7th until the end of February China bought 2.2 Billion masks !
  • 2 hours Marine based energy generation
  • 16 hours What If ‘We’d Adopted A More Conventional Response To This Epidemic?’
  • 3 hours China Takes Axe To Alternative Energy Funding, Slashing Subsidies For Solar And Wind
  • 1 day The Most Annoying Person You Have Encountered During Lockdown
  • 6 hours Real Death Toll In CCP Virus May Be 12X Official Toll
  • 3 hours Which producers will shut in first?
  • 1 hour Today 127 new cases in US, 99 in China, 778 in Italy
  • 24 hours Trafigura CEO Weir says, "We will see 30% to 35% drop in demand". That amounts to 35mm bbls/day glut ! OPEC+ 10 mm cut won't fix it. It's a DEMAND problem.
  • 1 day Cpt Lauren Dowsett
  • 12 hours TRUMP pushing Hydroxychloroquine + Zpak therapy forward despite FDA conservative approach. As he reasons, "What have we got to lose ?"
Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

More Info

Premium Content

Tax Income Earned ISIS Much More Than Oil Smuggling

Contrary to what has been assumed so far, black market oil sales were not the only and not even the largest revenue stream for ISIS, an investigation of The New York Times has revealed.

Islamic State militants have been almost entirely expelled from Iraq and Syria, but for nearly three years they had held vast territories in the Middle East because they ran those areas with two complementary tools—brutality and bureaucracy—according to the team of NYT journalists and experts who have analyzed more than 15,000 pages of internal ISIS documents found in Iraq after the terrorists were driven out.

According to those documents, the Islamic State was able to hold onto vast swaths of Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017 because it taxed almost every business and production under its rule, and was not trying to replace government agencies and employees, but would rather have them continue to work.

ISIS used every single service, business, and agricultural production to squeeze revenues out of it, the internal documents analyzed by the NYT show. This could partly explain why the militants were able to keep hold of territories for years—their revenue stream was highly diversified. Monthly budgets and ledgers found in Iraq after the militants were pushed out show that ISIS monetized every inch of the territory they had under control and taxed literally everything—every bushel of wheat and every fruit sold on markets they controlled. Related: Is The Iran Nuclear Deal Coming To An End?

What’s more surprising is that ISIS earned much more from tax revenues than from oil smuggling, according to the NYT journalists and the experts they asked to analyze the terrorists’ internal documents.

“It was daily commerce and agriculture — not petroleum — that powered the economy of the caliphate,” NYT’s Rukmini Callimachi writes.

Documents recovered in Syria showed that the ratio of income earned from taxes compared to proceeds from oil sales was 6:1, according to experts asked by the NYT for analysis.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage






Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News