ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is reportedly facing manpower problems as international want-to-be members decrease.
A report by CNN cites that the information roots on newly obtained documents revealing that the terrorist group is suffering from financial woes.
“We’re actually seeing an increase in now the desertion rates in these fighters. We’re seeing a fracture in their morale. We’re seeing their inability to pay. We’re watching them try to leave Daesh,” Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, deputy commander of the counter-ISIS coalition, told reporters.
The benefits of joining the organization, which include monetary support for a fighter’s wife, mistress and other family members, have been a huge factor in the recruitment process of ISIS. But the ongoing pay cut which is up to 50 percent is discouraging potential members from risking their lives for the group’s agendas. Given this, Maj. Gen. Gersten added that from 1,500 to 2,000 new recruits joining ISIS per month, it is now down to only 200.
Last year, the U.S. started targeting ISIS’ financial sources, the group’s oil infrastructure and cash storage facilities, in an effort to disrupt their machinery. Right now, the plan is effectively working as up to $800 million have been ceased by the anti-ISIS coalition.
The documents, which give an update until March 2016, were obtained by Aymenn al-Tamimi. The Jihad-Intel Research Fellow was able to get a hold of the papers from various sources including activists, journalists, and former residents of areas once occupied by ISIS. And while al-Tamimi has no way of verifying the papers, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank says that Tamimi’s examination reveals that they are consistent in terms of content, format, and appearance with other documents drafted by ISIS.
Despite the good news, this does not mean that the world can now relax in terms of terror threats from ISIS. NBC News notes that the Iraqi government has recently issued a warning to Sweden of a possible Stockholm attack. The supposed strike is believed to be carried out by seven or eight Iraqis who were formerly part of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
“Those ISIS militants are Iraqis, and were able to arrive to Sweden in 2015 with those thousands who emigrate from different countries to Europe,” a senior Iraqi security official shared.
The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has made it possible for some terrorists to cross borders without getting spotted.
“There were so many refugees who came in at once, many on false identities, so many were not checked or registered properly,” Magnus Ranstorp, a counterterrorism expert pondered. “It would be easy for them to hide and move around quite freely, also difficult for the police to trace them.”
As of now, the Swedish police is relentless in investigating any potential terror attack against Sweden.