Archive for November 4th, 2014


Thirty to fifty percent of Islamic State’s assets come from antiquities trafficking? Six hundred million to one billion dollars? WTF?

I’ve just woken up and I’m rushing to get out, so I’ll be brief. ‘Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s ISIS has amassed a kitty of over $2 billion, thirty to fifty percent of which comes from the sale of artifacts stolen and vandalized from museums and archeological sites in Syria and Iraq.’ Or should I say “…?” The two-billion-dollar guesstimate included military equipment and other physical assets (and a massively overblown or even mythical bank heist). And, to state the obvious, thirty to fifty percent of two billion dollars would be six hundred million to one billion dollars.

First it was claimed that antiquities looting-and-smuggling was the Islamic State’s second-largest income source, which could only be known by a senior figure in the Islamic State’s administration, now the (fairly) precise share has been “calculated” (by an unknown source that was not even credited as an anonymous informant). I am really sorry to be so blunt, but, WTF? I rather suspect unknowable information is being planted. Who needs to make the Islamic State look worse than it is and does!?

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