Not by Sword & Oil Alone: Docs Shed Light on Surprising Daesh Incomes

Middle East

While it has long been believed that it was oil that added greatly to Daesh’s clout, a recent trove of documents obtained by journalists casts doubt on the caveat.

The New York Times has managed to obtain thousands of files which the newspaper said “reveal the inner workings of a complex system of government” inside Daesh.*

The newspaper stressed that Daesh terrorists “did not rule by the sword alone,” citing “brutality and bureaucracy,” which it said added significantly to the group’s clout. 

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The terrorists wielded power through a system of punitive taxes and fines for so-called immorality, such as eyebrow plucking, having the wrong haircut, playing cards, listening to music and smoking hookah pipes – an offense that could land a person in prison.

“More surprisingly, the documents provide further evidence that the tax revenue the Islamic State earned far outstripped its income from oil sales. It was daily commerce and agriculture — not petroleum — that powered the economy of the caliphate,” according to the New York Times.

In late 2017, an Iraqi military parade to celebrate the final defeat of Daesh was held in Baghdad’s Green Zone, with December 10 being declared as an annual national holiday by the country’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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