Over the last several years, the Islamic State has transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of Iraq and Syria and invested that money in legitimate businesses.
The group is estimated to have transferred approximately $400 million through the banking sector out of Iraq and Syria. The funds were invested in legitimate businesses in Turkey, the UAE, and elsewhere in the Middle East. The group invested in a wide variety of businesses, including real estate companies, hotels, automobile dealerships, and even a carwash.
The funds are believed to have been moved by the group in order to make them available for a future resurgence. ISIL may also be using some of the funds to pay the families of foreign fighters, as well as lawyers to assist people imprisoned.
Analysis: ISIL has invested significant amounts of money internationally, which means that the group can finance its activities without arousing suspicion from reporting entities. The pre-placed funds can be used to finance travel of its operatives, attacks, and establish more extensive recruiting networks for future activities.