Extortion, bank robbery fuel ISIS bloody drive to establish Sharia caliphate

June 14, 2014 10:22 AM

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Long before it looted the Iraqi central bank in Mosul of $429 million, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS) was well-funded in its quest to establish a Shariah caliphate, thanks to a raging criminal enterprise of extortion, bank robbery and petty theft, as well as donations from well-heeled sponsors throughout the Arab world, according to experts.

The latest payday — gained when the jihadist group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi overran Iraq's second largest city and emptied the vaults of cash and gold bullion — swelled already healthy coffers and made ISIS, by some estimations, the world's richest terrorist organization. The group also seized U....

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