The Islamic State's Caliphate May Be Gone But Its Economic Empire Still Exists

ISIS Gold. The photos show one coin with a detailed image of sheaths of wheat blowing in the wind, whilst another has a map of the world. (Twitter)

David Kenner, The Atlantic: All ISIS Has Left Is Money. Lots of It.

Even without a physical state, the Islamic State can still fund its main product: political violence.

BEIRUT—If you’re looking to transfer money here, there’s a chance you will be directed to Abu Shawkat. He works out of a small office in a working-class suburb of the Lebanese capital, but won’t give you its exact location. Instead, he’ll direct you to a nearby alleyway, and whether he shows up depends on whether he likes the look of you.

Abu Shawkat—not his real name—is part of the hawala system, which is often used to transfer cash between places where the banking system has broken down or is too expensive for some to access. If he agrees to do business, you’ll set a password and he will take your cash, then provide you with the contact information of a hawala broker in the city where your money is headed. Anyone who offers that specific password to that particular broker will get the funds. Thus, cash can travel across borders without any inquiry into who is sending or receiving it, or its purpose.

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WNU Editor: I am sure that this wealth is one of the reasons why this man has the resources to allude capture .... Where Is Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad? (March 24, 2019).

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