Islamic State militants are amassing wealth at an unprecedented pace, earning about $1 million a month from black market oil sales alone, a Treasury Department official said Thursday.
David Cohen, who leads the department’s effort to undermine the Islamic State group’s financial strength, said the extremists also get several million dollars a month from wealthy donors, and from extortion rackets and other criminal activities, such as robbing banks. In addition, he said the group has taken in at least $20 million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings.
“It is difficult to get precise revenue estimates on the value to ISIL of these transactions in light of the murky nature of the market, but we estimate that beginning in mid-June, ISIL has earned approximately $1 million a day from oil sales,” Cohen said, using an acronym for the group.
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