The Islamists have been pushed back by the Russian and US-led coalitions
After the bloodthirsty jihadis lost vast swathes of land in their self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, the group have become desperate.
The Islamists have been pushed back by the Russian and US-led coalitions, which saw airstrikes rain down on the regime’s strongholds.
Cut off from their usual income stream of selling smuggled oil, the loss of territory they first acquired in 2014 has forced them to resort to other methods to raise cash.
Also known as Daesh, the group has previously raised funds by imposing taxes, ransoms, and antiquities trading, but oil was their main source of income.
What's left of Mosul's University
Tue, January 31, 2017
Iraq's second largest school is left in ruins after the battle for Mosul.
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General view of the library of the University of Mosul burned and destroyed during the battle with Islamic State militants
But the extremists are now generating revenue by smuggling desperate migrants into Europe, according to a senior Italian intelligence official.
Alessandro Pansa, Director General of the Department of Information Security for the Italian Council of Ministers, said: “ISIS has recently significantly retreated.
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Oil was ISIS' main source of income
“Its sources of revenue, primarily smuggling oil products and antiquities, are at the edge of drying out.
“We think that terrorists are resorting to human trafficking as a new source of revenue.”
Terrorists are resorting to human trafficking as a new source of revenue
He said, based on intelligence, a special ‘partnership’ had developed between the criminal smuggling networks operating in Africa and ISIS.
Mr Pansa these “African networks” serve as “another point of earning” for the terror organisation.
The extremists are now generating revenue by smuggling desperate migrants into Europe
Europe, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, estimates some 90 per cent of the migrants travelling to the EU have resorted to criminals gangs to get them through the borders.
Last year some 180,000 migrants illegally entered the EU by boat from Africa, aboard rickety and unseaworthy vessels packed in like cattle.
The group has previously raised funds by imposing taxes, ransoms, and antiquities trading
Since 2014 there has been an unprecedented spike in the number of migrants arriving on Europe’s shores.
The favoured route into the continent is via the central Mediterranean, with Greece, followed by Italy, seeing the highest number of arrivals.