The Islamic State extremist group will see its sources of funding dwindle if it is not able to seize additional territory, according to a new report by a French group that studies terrorism financing.
The report by the Financial Action Task Force also warned that more needs to be done globally to cut off the current financial flow of the Islamic State, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The Sunni Muslim extremist group «obtains the vast majority of its revenues through local criminal and extortion activities in the territory where it operates,» according to the report released Friday.
«[This] presents unique challenges for the international community, but also presents a declining revenue base if it is unable to find alternative sources of revenue or take additional territory,» it said.
The extremist group has funded its brutal activities by seizing oil fields, robbing banks, extorting money from farmers, carrying out kidnappings for ransom, and attracting donations from foreigners.
The fundraising methods have been very successful. The FATF estimates the Islamic State gained access to a half billion dollars from the appropriation of cash held at state-owned banks in late 2014.
The U.S. is leading a multi-faceted global campaign, which White House officials say is meant to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State.
A U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes, as well as ground efforts by smaller groups of local fighters, have halted the advance of the fighters in some areas, even though continue to gain ground in others.
A major part of the effort is also aimed at cutting off the financial support for the group.