When any money-making enterprise hits a rough patch, budget cuts are simply a necessary measure — even for evil billion-dollar terrorist organizations.
International terrorist group Daesh, commonly known as ISIS, has reportedly been forced to cut the salaries of its fighters by 50%, according to a recent ISIS memo obtained by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a scholar who tracks the organization.
An excerpt from the translated memo reads:
“On account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing, it has been decided to reduce the salaries that are paid to all mujahideen by half, and it is not allowed for anyone to be exempted from this decision, whatever his position.”
ISIS fighters are paid bi-weekly and are reported to make between $400 and $1,200 a month with additional stipends for each wife ($50) and child ($25), according to the Congressional Research Service.
While the memo doesn’t give a specific reason for salary cuts, it is speculated that they are due to the burdens of running a government infrastructure and the attacks of nearly every major world power in response to the numerous deadly attacks on civilians throughout the world.
ISIS must support a massive functioning government to control multiple territories and finance operations throughout the world. According to a UN research team, ISIS collects taxes, provides public services, pays skilled workers to keep the utilities running and subsidizes the cost of bread for the people living under the regime.
Coalition airstrikes also target oil storage facilities, oil production equipment and buildings where cash is kept, destroying millions of dollars.
In 2014, ISIS was reported to make $2 billion in total from seized banks, the sale of seized oil and other seized chemical production facilities. In 2015, ISIS was reported to make $40 million a month from oil sales alone — State Department officials now claim they make only a fraction of that.