Hard times for jihadists: ISIS orders 50% pay cut for fighters

And you thought the economic recovery in the United States was dodgy.

Times are tough all over and wages are declining. That’s apparently not only true in North America and Europe, but the same woes are creating hard times in the terrorism business. As Cathaleen Chen reports at Yahoo News, ISIS has had to deliver some bad news to its “workers” this month, with everyone up and down the line taking a 50% pay cut.

Violent jihad, it turns out, is a rough business. According to documents leaked from inside the Islamic State (IS) group, all IS fighters have reportedly had their salaries cut by half.

Additional information from the Congressional Research Service indicate that IS soldiers earn between $400 and $1,200 a month, CNN Money’s Jose Pagliery reports. The jihadists receive a $50 stipend for their wives and $25 for every child. Even the lowest paycheck of $400, however, is more than what the Iraqi government offers.

First published and translated by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a scholar at the Middle East forum and an expert on Islamic State, the documents don’t reveal the reason for the pay cuts.

The internal ISIS document was put out under the name of Abu Muhammad al-Muhajir, ISIS’s treasury minister. We may have missed a breaking news headline here… ISIS has a treasury minister? It goes on to use some quotes from the Quran to point out the lack of importance and shallowness of wealth, but if these murderers are anything like union members back here at home that’s not going to wash very well.

So what’s driving the pay cuts among the happy go lucky, throat slashing, heretic burning monsters? A couple of things come to mind. For one, we finally figured out that we should be blowing up their oil trucks and pipelines at roughly the same time that Russia showed up and hit on the idea. That came during the same period when the global market for oil began to seriously slide toward the ditch, and black market sellers already have to take less money than the conventional market. The terror group was previously estimated to be hauling in two million dollars per day in oil revenue, but that’s pretty much tanked.

Another factor is one where we have to give credit to President Obama along with our military and intelligence forces. In addition to freezing and seizing monetary assets of the terror group where we find them in the banking system, over the past month we finally started blowing up buildings where ISIS was storing millions of dollars in cash. (CNN)

In an extremely unusual airstrike, the U.S. dropped bombs Sunday in central Mosul, Iraq, destroying a building containing huge amounts of cash ISIS was using to pay its troops and for ongoing operations, two U.S. defense officials told CNN.

The officials could not say exactly how much money was there or in what currency, but one described it as “millions.”

Two 2,000-pound bombs destroyed the site quickly.

I was a bit dubious at the time as to how much of a real impact this would have on ISIS, but combined with the other factors listed above, it seems to be working. (Or at least starting to work.)