ISIS Makes a Fortune From Smuggling Migrants Says Report

A landing craft transports migrants back to HMS Bulwark after their rescue in the Mediterranean Sea. Photograph: Jason Florio/AFP/Getty Images

The movement of migrants across the Middle East and Africa towards Europe has generated up to $323 million for the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and other jihadist groups, a new report has revealed…

…European Union and African officials are scrambling to find ways to stop the migration. On Wednesday the Guardian revealed a 19-page E.U. strategy report to crack down on the smugglers, which included air strikes on boats and possibly the use of troops in Libya.

But while E.U. officials anguish over the plight of people crossing the Mediterranean to get to Europe, the migration has proved an invaluable business opportunity for groups like ISIS. So valuable that international crime experts believe ISIS might have launched some attacks specifically in order to drive people to flee, and then profit from their flight. “They [ISIS] were looking desperately for new funds,” says Christian Nelleman, director of the Norwegian Center for Global Analysis…Unlike al-Qaeda, ISIS needs a totally different scale of funds because they run an army and provide social services”…

h/t Marvin

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