ISIS salaries won’t include any bonuses for 2015. In fact, ISIS is cutting salaries, reports say, because it’s hard to make ends meet when you are a jihadist militant group attempting to establish itself as a worldwide caliphate and control the globe’s two billion Muslims while fighting the infidels. Wartime pressure by the Islamic State’s ever-increasing enemy nations is forcing the group to slash its fighters’ salaries by fifty percent.
As reported by CNN Money on Jan. 19: “ISIS might seem like a ragtag group of terrorists, but in reality, it operates as a government over parts of Iraq and Syria. And it hands out biweekly paychecks to its jihadist army.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, ISIS fighters are salaried between $400 and $1,200 per month, plus an extra $50 if they have a wife and another $25 extra per child. To put that into perspective, the cost of living in Syria, where ISIS is largely centered, is 57 percent lower than in the United States. And yet the average Syrian’s monthly wage is only $400.
“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,” the ISIS’ government wrote in a memorandum, according to CNN.
ISIS pulls in big bucks via its proceeds from territory occupation, illegal payroll embezzlements and other taxes, kidnapping for ransom and of course its oil business. In mid-2014, ISIS was estimated to be holding assets worth $2 billion. But airstrikes and bombing runs by U.S.-led coalition forces are taking a heavy economic toll.
Strikes have increased on oil trucks and oil storage facilities, refineries, even hard cash itself. Earlier this month, the U.S. dropped bombs on a building in central Mosul, Iraq, destroying “millions” of dollars earmarked to pay fighters.
“Combined with all of the other strikes that we’ve done on ISIL’s gas and oil production and distribution capabilities and strikes against his economic infrastructure and the various sources of revenue, you can bet that it is feeling the strain on its checkbook,” commented Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command.
Adds the HuffPost: “The slash in fighter pay signals the latest setback for the terror group and lends new support to U.S. claims that its strategy to disrupt ISIS’ revenue stream is working. ISIS militants have lost 40 percent of the territory they once held in Iraq, including the city of Ramadi, and 20 percent of their territory in Syria, according the U.S. military.”
Grieving husband sends ISIS a powerful message after his wife is killed in Paris
Despite the pay cuts, ISIS continues to draw new members. According to the National Counter Terrorism Center, over 36,500 individuals from over 100 countries have left to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq.