For Extremists In Syria, Extortion Delivers Piles Of cash From Iraq

Enlarge this imageThis undated impre sion posted on a militant web site in January shows fighters from the al-Qaida connected Islamic Point out of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, marching in Raqqa, Syria.APhide captiontoggle captionAPThis undated image posted on a militant internet site in Cameron Heyward Jersey January reveals fighters through the al-Qaida connected Islamic Condition of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, marching in Raqqa, Syria.APThe renegade Islamist group recognized as ISIS now controls swaths of Syria and Iraq, and it is really partly mainly because the fighters are so wealthy. ISIS, or the Islamic Point out of Iraq and Syria, is known for po se sing the biggest guns and spending the best salaries. While kidnapping, oil smuggling and donations from sympathizers have been well-known sources of money, the groups also operate intricate and brutal protection rackets, in keeping with analysts. Charles Lister from the Brookings Institution in Doha, Qatar, says Iraqi intelligence resources estimate that extremist militants get in more than $1 million a month in extortion from your northern Iraqi town of Mosul. Enlarge this imageRebel fighters examine the wreckage of a Syrian army helicopter following the Islamic Condition of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, allegedly destroyed it in March within the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.Mohammed Al-Khatieb/AFP/Getty Imageshide captiontoggle captionMohammed Al-Khatieb/AFP/Getty ImagesRebel fighters inspect the wreckage of a Syrian army helicopter following the Islamic Condition of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, allegedly destroyed it in March inside the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.Mohammed Al-Khatieb/AFP/Getty Images »Mosul appears to have obtained an exceedingly central role with regards to being profitable, » Lister says. « Certainly considering that late 2012, early 2013, I have found a variety of experiences to counsel that ISIS’s activities in extortion and attaining levies on transportation and authentic estate po se sing increased relatively considerably. » Income has actually been e sential in encouraging extremist militants in Syria overtake more average and Western-backed rebels combating against the Syrian authorities. In Mosul, the extortionists prey on countle s numbers with normal calls for and threats. The tale of 1 modest organization owner displays how it functions. Tawfik ran a pc store in Mosul until finally final yr. He was as well afraid to provide his entire identify even though he has fled Mosul for your safer town of Erbil. He claims he left Mosul after an namele s caller demanded about $114,000 for jihad, or holy war, an unthinkable quantity for any shop operator who manufactured maybe $1,000 a month .The extortionists « told us that everybody in the street who is operating pays for them and that we should shell out much too, » Tawfik suggests. « They killed three people mainly because they had not compensated or have been e sentially late to pay for. They were actually critical. » He did not know who the lads ended up they told him to depart the cash for them inside of a bag. Similar NPR StoriesParallels Sunni Discontent Fuels Growing Violence In Iraq’s Anbar ProvinceAfricaDrought Could Complicate Already Challenging Food Disaster In SyriaParallelsIranians Begin To Sense The Heavy Burden Of Syria’s War »Those forms of men are like ghosts, » he states. « You cannot see them. You pay them but you are unable to see them. You do not know who they may be and wherever they stay. You haven’t any notion about them. They remain from the shadows and they acquire the cash. » Many others interviewed said the challenge of extortion is entrenched and ongoing. Abulraheem al Shammari, an formal at the Mosul provincial council, claims the phenomenon is crippling town. « They are extorting revenue from tradesmen, those with cash, shops, and pharmacy owners, » he says. « I feel that every one the point out officials are aware of it. » And he agrees with residents who say the police and military, inspite of a weighty presence from the city, are powerle s towards this greatly armed mafia. « I really don’t believe that that a plan to deal with the i sue exists, » he says. Alice Fordham is NPR’s Beirut correspondent. Stick to her @AliceFordham.

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