An American airstrike on an ISIS bank in the Iraqi city of Mosul destroyed tens of millions of dollars in cash, a US spokesman said in a statement on Monday. “The bulk cash distribution site was used by [Isis] to distribute money to fund terrorist activities. We estimate in the millions of dollars … from all their illicit stuff: oil, looting, extortion.”
A Pentagon official told AFP the attack used two 2,000 lb bombs to strike the facility, destroying millions of dollars in cash.
Since November, US and coalition forces have been going after ISIS’s financial source, namely oil smuggling from wells in areas under the organization’s control. The coalition has been bombing ISIS oil fields and targeting tanker trucks that move the oil to Turkey for distribution. The intelligence about ISIS’s finances was retrieved when US special forces killed Abu Sayyaf, the ISIS money man, last May in Syria. They also seized his wife and his computers.
ISIS pays its foreign recruits an estimated $1,000 a month, according to Syrian rebel sources. In addition, when ISIS takes over an area, once the beheading and burning is over, the new rulers need money to run the civilian systems.
According to the Pentagon official, it was not clear if the blown up money was in US dollars, euros, or local dinars.