Despite the vast riches detailed on the drives, the group’s real windfall came after it took Mosul. After seizing its banks, weapons, and resources, ISIS’s total assets reached a staggering sum.
“By the end of the week, we soon realized that we had to do some accounting for them,” a senior intelligence official told The Guardian. “Before Mosul, their total cash and assets were $875 million. Afterwards, with the money they robbed from banks and the value of the military supplies they looted, they could add another $1.5 billion to that.”
The official went on to tell The Guardian that ISIS had acquired $36 million from one Syrian region alone by selling relics up to 8,000 years old.
But their initial funding came from rich Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and elsewhere.