Report: ISIS steals $429m from central bank after capturing Mosul

ISIS fighters celebrate on vehicles taken from Iraqi security forces, at a street in city of Mosul, June 12, 2014. (Reuters)

Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stole $425 from Mosul’s central bank after capturing the city this week, a senior official has claimed.

Mosul mayor and Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi said that ISIS militants had also stolen millions from numerous banks across Mosul – as well as large quantities of gold bullion, news website International Business Times reported on Wednesday.

Such a large horde of wealth gives ISIS – which is now believed to be advancing on Iraq’s capital of Baghdad – the dubious honor of being the “world’s richest terror force,” according to the website.

Beating the competition

The group’s latest haul puts them far ahead of similar militant Islamist groups, with Afghanistan’s Taliban trailing them with finances at around $70m - $400m, according to the news site.

The wealth of Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah, meanwhile, stands between $200m - $500m.The group’s financially prudent decision to capture Iraq’s second largest city makes them richer than richer than many small nations, including Tonga, Nauru and the Marshall Islands, according to the Washington Post.

Newly-minted ISIS will be able to “buy a whole lot of Jihad,” prolific British blogger Eliot Higgins wrote on Twitter. “For example, with $425 million, ISIS could pay 60,000 fighters around $600 a month for a year.”

Since fleeing Mosul, Nujaifi has so far been vocal about the circumstances of its capture.

In a separate interview, he blamed three senior military figures as being responsible for the city’s fall.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:53 - GMT 10:53
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