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Targeting The ISIS Economy47:14
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ISIS, Inc. The terrorist organization is raking in billions –from oil, grain, antiquities, and taxes. We look at how to break the ISIS bank. Plus, Turkey downs a Russian plane. We'll have the latest.

This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

We are conditioned, when people talk about terror groups, to want to cut off their funding. Figure out who’s bankrolling them, and stop it.  With ISIS, it’s not so simple. They are holding turf, and on that turf, people and resources. Oil. Taxes. Grain, for heaven’s sake. And then, the dark stuff. Extortion. Ransom. Plundered antiquities and more. Shutting down the ISIS economy is a challenge. ISIS depends on it. So do the millions now under ISIS rule. The US is now bombing oil trucks, bigtime.  But that’s just a start. This hour On Point, going after the money – the economy - behind ISIS.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Roth, reporter in the Washington Post's Moscow bureau. (@arothwp)

Erika Solomon, Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times. (@ErikaSolomon)

Benjamin Bahney, international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Co-author of "Counterterrorism and Threat Finance Analysis During Wartime" and the forthcoming "Foundations of the Islamic State."

Jacob Shapiro, professor of politics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Author of "The Terrorist's Dilemma."

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Turkey downs Russian military aircraft near Syria’s border — "Turkish military aircraft shot down a Russian jet Tuesday after Turkey says it violated its airspace near the border with Syria, a major escalation in the Syrian conflict that could further strain relations between Russia and the West since Turkey is a NATO member."

Financial Times: Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists — "Oil is the black gold that funds Isis’ black flag — it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbors."

Bloomberg Businessweek: Why U.S. Efforts to Cut Off Islamic State's Funds Have Failed -- "Beyond oil, the caliphate is believed by U.S. officials to have assets including $500 million to $1 billion that it seized from Iraqi bank branches last year, untold 'hundreds of millions' of dollars that U.S. officials say are extorted and taxed out of populations under the group’s control, and tens of millions of dollars more earned from looted antiquities and ransoms paid to free kidnap victims."

This program aired on November 24, 2015.

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