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How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?

Interviews with Iraqi, Kurdish, European, Syrian and American government officials, analysts and intelligence agents sketch a portrait of ISIS’s robust, sprawling, and efficient financial operation. The terrorist group relies on a relatively complex system to manage its far-reaching networks. Its currencies of choice—cash, crude oil and contraband—allow it to operate outside of legitimate banking channels. Turkey’s southern corridor, Iraq’s northwestern corridor and Syria’s northeastern corridor are key weak spots, well away from the prying eyes of outside investigators.