We have all seen the news stories talking about the newest attacks from terrorist organizations. They fly across countries, they build bombs, and kill themselves and others in the name of their cause, but rarely do we take a moment to ponder where their money comes from. In fact, many terrorist groups have a hefty backing and are quite wealthy. It is unfortunate that these groups use their riches to wage wars and destruction. These are the organizations with the largest amounts of funding:
10. Boko Haram
The Boko Haram has an annual income of around $52 million which they receive through means of extortion. They work in human trafficking and will often kidnap and demand ransom money as well as receiving funds from the public as fees, taxes, and for protection.
Additionally they will loot and rob as they see fit. They use the money they collect to try and fight off Western influence and the Christian religion that holds different values so that they can instate Islamic Law within Nigeria.
9. Real IRA
The Real IRA, a sector of the original Irish Republican Army, bring in more than $50 million a year. They get their funding through a variety of methods including the smuggling of goods and other illegal trade activities. Other sources include receiving donations from American-Irish that support the Real IRA cause from overseas. The main goal of this terrorist organization is to create a United Ireland that would include both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Currently Northern Ireland is under British rule and if the Real IRA had their way the country would be released.
The al-Shabaab make the majority of their $70 million from illegal sources including kidnappings, trade, and the much publicized, pirate activity that is known to happen regularly off the coast of Somalia. As the most prolific terrorist organization within Somalia they regularly carry out devastating attacks that include the car bomb, suicide bombing, and shootings that target helpless and unsuspecting civilians. The main goal of al-Shabaab is to establish a full Islamic state within Somalia.
Moving up past the $100 million mark is the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Focused on the regions of Pakistan and India most foreigners have never heard of this terrorist organization. Believe it or not this group receives most of their funding through financial assistance and substantial donations. The organizations main goal is to see Kashmir relinquished so that it can integrate with Pakistan under a singular Islamic caliphate. They further claim that once they have released Kashmir that they want full elimination of the Hindus, Christians, and Jews of the world.
The prolific Al-Qaeda terrorist group brings in more than $150 million to fund their continued war against Christians and Jews. Wanting to create a singular unified front against the western world they receive much of their money through donated funds from successful professional Saudis. To keep their donors secret they often receive the money through outside sources including websites, religious organizations, Islamist groups, and some banks. They are not above kidnapping and ransom as extra ways to produce funds.
It is no surprise that the Taliban is so well funded. This terrorist group accumulates more than $400 million a year primarily through drug trafficking Opium from Afghanistan and Pakistan, though the group does receive some financial assistance and donations from supporters. The Taliban has been one of the strongest terrorist organizations to make a full comeback after the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The group still strives for a single Islamic state within Afghanistan.
The Hezbollah terrorist organization is housed within Lebanon where it receives $500 million per year. They get their funding from donations brought in from Iran and the drug trade. They produce and export the drugs around the world. This group began as a force for the Shi’ite’s within Lebanon and want to create an Islamic state within the country. Despite their militant terrorist tactics they do offer aid to much of the Lebanese Shi’ite population through education, and other welfare projects. This makes them quite popular despite their radical leanings.
3. Fuerzas Amradas Revolucionarias de Columbia
One of the few non-Islamist terrorist organizations on this list, FARC is homed in Columbia, South America. Through drugs and drug trafficking, kidnapping, and mining, this group makes $600 million annually. Though the FARC is a non-Islamic group they feature much of the same goals as other terrorist organizations listed here. They want to force the resignation of the current capitalist government so that they can instill a new government based on Marxist socialism.
Hamas is the first group to cross the billion dollar threshold. We know of Hamas due to the ongoing fighting within the Gaza Strip. They work primarily to establish a Palestinian Islamic state within the area of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This area is a small section that covers from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. It’s a very small section of land but has remained a place of turmoil between the two countries for year. The Hamas terrorist group has been smart and has diversified. They receive much of their funding from lucrative businesses including real estate, hotels, and even tourism.
1. ISIS (Islamic State)
The number one in funding and the current leading threat is ISIS. This terrorist organization brings in a whopping $2-$3 billion a year through oil, ransom, protection money, and robbery. The robbing and looting take place when they infiltrate and take over various cities.
Other funding comes from the kidnapping of reporters and other foreigners and then requiring a ransom for their return. If the ransoms are not met the kidnapped are often brutally murdered, often on video. While this group claims their goals is an Islamic State within many Middle Eastern countries, they branch out to regularly attack the Western world. Most recently one of their primary sects claimed the attack on Paris and have threatened further attacks on both Russia and the United States.