Assessment: The dire cost of Biden’s weakness.
The Islamic State (ISIS) is back. Five years after Donald Trump entered the Oval Office and quickly brought about the destruction of its caliphate in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is resurgent and wealthy. Could this have anything to do with Old Joe Biden’s misrule? Of course.
To be sure, there are other factors at play as well. An Iraqi security official said Friday that “recent assessments … put the group’s reserves at between $25 million and $50 million.” That could be a conservative estimate: the Wall Street Journal reported in September 2020 that ISIS had “assets ranging into the hundreds of millions of dollars across the Middle East and Central Asia,” according to “officials and government records.”
“Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:16
The Iraqi official said that ISIS got its cash from “opportunistic extortion, looting and kidnap for ransom,” but those are not the only sources of the jihad terror group’s income. WSJ added that ISIS “still extorts local populations in areas it controls or has supporters; receives income from businesses it seized during its rule; and collects payments from human trafficking.” It also controls “a growing share of illicit tobacco markets in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Nor is even that all: “donors in several Middle Eastern countries work on raising funds,” says the WSJ, in an understated reference to wealthy Muslims around the world who believe that ISIS is a worthy Islamic organization and keep it afloat financially with substantial donations.
On Friday, the group announced that it had chosen a new caliph, the brother of the former ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a U.S. raid in 2019. The new top dog is Juma Awad al-Badri, a.k.a. Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, succeeding Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi, who blew himself up to avoid being captured in a U.S. raid in Syria in February.
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