Friday, August 22, 2014

How Your U.S. Tax Dollars are Funding the Islamic State!

A few stories have surfaced recently about how the Islamic State (IS) funds its rather sophisticated and technologically-savvy operation.  This tactic was used by Al-Qaeda (and many other terrorist organizations not even related to a jihad) and it involves a simple, effective principle: hostages.

European governments are likely to pay seven-figure ransom sums to terrorists.

In addition to generating income by smuggling oil, drugs, and all manner of criminal activity, the major source of income comes from abducting and ransoming Europeans and, occasionally, relatives of wealthy Arabs.

Just this past April, four French journalists were ransomed from the IS for a few million Euros each.  Terrorists grab reporters and make in the neighborhood of $ 18 million in ransom payments?  Are you kidding me?  

I'm thinking $18 million buys an awful lot of firepower, or pays a top-notch hacker to take down digital infrastructure, or pays for the training of a shit-ton new bullet-catchers and suicide bombers.

I'm guessing European governments understand they are funding the massacre of people, killing of soldiers, and spread of a violent brand of extremism.  

Why do some countries and wealthy elites pay up if they know it goes to terror?

The Islamic State needs more money and this means more ransom.

Even though they are finding ways to generate income, including smuggling oil through sympathetic countries, the IS is building an empire and money greases the wheels of any regime.  Territories require officials, infrastructure, and maintenance; soldiers want to get paid and enjoy the spoils of war; and expanding military operations require constant cash flow.

Hostages generate several million dollars, require little investment, and certain nationalities all but guarantee a payday.  With so many foreign contractors working in the region, why wouldn't the IS capitalize?

Capitalize--as in capitalism?

Yes, the IS is conducting business.  They are operating under competitive principles by finding ways to fund operations in the most efficient means possible.

Connecting Terrorist Funding to Your Wallet

The U.S. doles out millions in foreign aid to countries all across Europe, Africa, and Asia.  If a foreign worker from one of these countries is abducted, we have no way to know if U.S. money is being used to fund the ransom payment... and then to buy explosives used to blow up an American ship.

Iran is a vocal supporter of Islamic militarization, particularly against the West and Israel.  The U.S. doles out over $400 million in aid to Iran--did you know?  Our money goes directly to a government largely condemned by our own government... or so we've been told, right?

U.S. aid money is used to purchase oil by countries adjacent and doing business with areas controlled by the IS.  How can be certain our money is being used to subsidize fuel purchases from terrorists?

IS fighters looted millions from Iraqi towns, cities, banks, military bases, and so forth during their campaign.  With all America invested in Iraq, it seems likely much of the stolen wealth comes from U.S. taxpayers.

Just relax!  Everything is going to be fine.

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