ISIS, the Islamic State worldwide terrorist organization, continues to be the world's richest terror group, even as it sees its earnings drop.
The Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, as reported in the Economic Times of India, found that ISIS is making up for its lost oil revenue by squeezing the people under its control by raising taxes.
ISIS has increased taxes by some 250% over the eight million people it controls. It now collects $800 million in annual taxes – yet still finished the year 2015 with $500 million less in income than the year before.
Despite losing territory and suffering airstrikes against its oil refineries, the Islamic State does not look like it faces collapse soon, the report states, though this could happen "way off in the mid-term."
The U.S. State Department reported last week that ISIS remains the greatest worldwide terrorist threat, even though it has lost 40% of its territory. Iran is still the leading state sponsor of terrorism, the State Department found.
The theoretical value of assets under ISIS control – oil reserves, gas reserves, minerals, cash assets – was estimated at $2,260 billion by the end of 2015, up by 11% compared to late 2014, according to the report. Since late 2015, production of ISIS oil has declined by about 30%.
"It's really an adaptive organization," one of the report authors, terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard, told CNN. "What strikes me is the fact that they're clearly behaving as managers, not simple looters. They really have budget requirements, and they're compensating."
The taxes levied upon people under ISIS control include a 10% income tax, a business tax of up to 15%, road tolls, 5% fees for bank cash withdrawals, and up to 35% taxes on pharmaceutical drugs. There are fees for leaving the territory, even temporarily, and there is a special tax on non-Muslims called jizyah.