The Associated Press reported the following:
February 16, 2016
BEIRUT (AP) — Faced with a cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, the Islamic State group has slashed salaries across the region, asked Raqqa residents to pay utility bills in black market American dollars, and is now releasing detainees for a price of $500 a person.
The extremists who once bragged about minting their own currency are having a hard time meeting expenses, thanks to coalition airstrikes and other measures that have eroded millions from their finances since last fall. Having built up loyalty among militants with good salaries and honeymoon and baby bonuses, the group has stopped providing even the smaller perks: free energy drinks and Snickers bars.
Necessities are dwindling in its urban centers, leading to shortages and widespread inflation, according to exiles and those still suffering under its rule. Interviews gathered over several weeks included three exiles with networks of family and acquaintances still in the group’s stronghold in Raqqa, residents in Mosul, and analysts who say IS is turning to alternative funding streams, including in Libya.
In Raqqa, the group’s stronghold in Syria, salaries have been halved since December, electricity is rationed, and prices for basics are spiraling out of reach, according people exiled from the city.
“Not just the militants. Any civil servant, from the courts to the schools, they cut their salary by 50 percent,” said a Raqqa activist now living in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who remains in close contact with his native city.http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/ISLAMIC_STATE_BUDGET_CRUNCH?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-16-08-46-58
So, funds are being cut off. The Islamic State has put out videos in the past showing how ‘cool’ it is to be one of their terrorists. With funds apparently dwindling, it may not have quite the same appeal for future recruits–plus some current recruits may well become more easily disillusioned and leave the group.
If funds become more of an issue, the leadership of the Islamic State might decide that it needs to conduct more terrorist activities in the USA and/or Europe to show that it is still relevant as a force. Desperate times can result in even more desperate measures.
The Bible shows that terrorism is prophesied:
14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. (Leviticus 26:14-17)
25 The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within (Deuteronomy 32:25)
12 “Cry and wail, son of man; For it will be against My people, Against all the princes of Israel. Terrors including the sword will be against My people; Therefore strike your thigh. (Ezekiel 21:12)
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,Who are always at ease; They increase in riches…19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. (Psalms 73:12,19)
25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. (Proverbs 1:25-27)
5 Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way (Ecclesiastes 12:5).
The Islamic State has provided terror to many places, and is expected to do more.
The Bible also tells of a time when the Arabs and others in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and North Africa will form a militaristic confederation led by one called the King of the South:
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. (Daniel 11:40-43)
But do not look for the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to be the final King of the South. Notice something I posted a year and a half ago:
I do not believe its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will become the biblical King of the South. (Thiel B. Islamic State kills 500 Yazidis who would not convert; 20,000 hidden escape; USA drops more bombs. August 10, 2014)
The Bible suggests that Iraq will be involved in a confederation of North African and Middle Eastern nations (Ezekiel 30:1-9; Psalm 83:4-8) who will support a leader that the Bible refers to as the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43).
At this moment, I do not believe that this will be the ‘Caliph’ of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Instead, I believe that many will point to groups such as the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, etc. as extremists and claim that a ‘moderate’ Arabic-Turkish Islamic confederation is the best way to control ‘extremism.’ The West, including probably the UK and USA, will go along with that. (Thiel B. UK will not fight with Assad against Islamic State, many British Muslims fight for the Islamic State, US calls Islamic State ‘apocalyptic,’ and Muslims killed in Iraq. August 22, 2014)
While many are focusing on the face of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State, they are only a part of what is happening. Though in some respects, they may act like a trigger.
Groups like the Islamic State will end up encouraging the West to embrace a variety of proposals, including one that the Bible suggests sounds like a type of Islamic caliphate (at least the peoples it discusses in it are currently predominantly Islamic at this time). A confederation of predominantly Islamic nations will happen per Daniel 11:40-43 and Ezekiel 30:2-8. (Thiel B. Kissinger tells of New World Order, Cameron concerned about ISIS terrorism, while Obama tells of ‘no strategy’ related to bombing Islamic State raises some concerns. August 29, 2014)
I still do not believe that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the final King of the South. His actions and practices are turning much of the world against him and his group. This will spur more to rise up against him and the Islamic State–despite the fact that it will still do damage in various areas. Expect some type of defeat for the Islamic State. But also look for the rise of an Arabic leader to become that King.
Yet, it remains my position that the actions of the Islamic State will contribute to the rise of the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43), who will cooperate in a major way with the finalKing of the North (Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83:3-8).
The fact that the Islamic State is having financial issues could be an indication that it will become less directly relevant, at some point, in the future.
News Presenter: John Hickey