Islamic State Minting Own Currency to Break From Fed’s ‘Financial System of Enslavement’

Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria / AP
August 31, 2015

The Islamic State released a video over the weekend celebrating its newly minted currency as a pathway for the terrorist group to break from "the capitalist financial system" supported by the Federal Reserve.

Bloomberg reported that the hour-long video, posted Saturday to the terror group’s media branch al Hayat, lauded "the return of the gold dinar."

IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) militants couched the new currency as a method of breaking from "the capitalist financial system of enslavement, underpinned by a piece of paper called the Federal Reserve dollar note."

The group said that it has created 21-carat gold 1-dinar and 5-dinar coins weighing 4.25 grams and 8.5 grams, respectively, in addition to three denominations of silver dirhams and two denominations of copper coins.

All coins are adorned with the inscription "The Islamic State, a caliphate based on the doctrine of prophecy." The larger of the two gold coins features an image of the map of the world.

The video comes less than a year after the Islamic State announced plans to create its own currency, releasing preliminary designs of the coins and their denominations. While details surrounding where the coins are being created and their distribution are unknown, the group claims that it will now exclusively sell oil for gold.

IS has been accumulating plenty of money by selling oil from fields it controls. By one estimate, the group has amassed $500 million annually from oil sales in addition to the $1 billion it lifts from banks.

In addition to creating a currency, IS has been implementing traditional methods of governance in areas of Iraq and Syria under its control, such as issuing identification cards, dispersing fishing guidelines and requiring that vehicles be equipped with emergency kits.

Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence agencies recently concluded that the Obama administration bomb campaign launched last year against IS has yielded no perceivable degradation of the group’s forces. Nevertheless, the president has in recent months touted the "progress" made against IS.

The Pentagon is currently investigating whether officials in the military altered intelligence estimates about the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq to give a more favorable impression of progress.