Video shows millions of dollars of Islamic State (IS) funds being blown up in an American airstrike. The aerial footage, released by the US Defense Department, shows a building being targeted in Mosul – the extremist group’s main stronghold in Iraq.
Clouds of paper bills quickly fill the air as the building is flattened by two 2,000-pound bombs. The Pentagon said several millions of dollars in cash were destroyed, but the exact amount is not known.
The US-led coalition has been targeting IS oil resources and cash piles in the hope of sapping its financial strength. IS earns an estimated £315m ($450m) a year from oil production in its territory in Iraq and Syria.
The terror group also has a small army of tax collectors raking in nearly as much from zakat tax, a form of almsgiving in Islam, according to the Financial Times.
Zakat requires Muslims to hand over part of their income – and can be given to those who are fighting for a holy cause. IS takes 2.5% of capital from wealthy residents and businesses, 5% of irrigated crops and 10% of rain-fed crops from farmers.
The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year, the FT said. It even collected £16m ($23m) in taxes on salaries the Iraqi government paid to officials in Mosul after the city was taken over by IS.