The Islamic State terror group is raking in an estimated $800 million per year, or $2 million per day, in crude oil sales which is produced in oil regions the group captured in the past year in Iraq and Syria, a U.S.-based global analytics group reported on Monday.
A report by IHS, a leading source in global information and analytics, found that ISIS is making twice as much off of their oil production per day than the $1 million per day figure that U.S. lawmakers were previously told when the Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Nicholas Rasmussen testified before Congress in September.
The IHS report stated that the Islamic State generates the income needed to continue funding its deadly jihadist movement through the production of over 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is sold to black market traders. The report also added that ISIS is only producing "a fraction" of the total oil capacity of the oil regions it controls. more >>
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order on Monday calling for the immediate revision of the state's rules that determine the eligibility of rape and sexual assault victims looking for state-compensation for medical charges directly relating to their assaults. Jindal called for an end to double victimization of Louisiana rape victims who are often billed thousands of dollars from hospitals for health exams and tests.
Jindal issued his orders in the hours following a tense meeting of Louisiana state lawmakers and state health officials on Monday that addressed the state's Victims Reparations Fund. The governor's orders demand that the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement reconstruct its rules to better protect sexual assault victims. The state currently requires conditional circumstances for victims to qualify for medical cost compensation through the fund, which prevents many victims from being eligible to receive the funding, leaving them with large personal debts.
"We should not be victimizing people twice with hefty bills or uncomfortable investigations," Jindal's spokesperson Shannon Bates said. "Sexual assault is a heinous crime that causes a tremendous amount of suffering and we want to do everything we can to protect the victims of these terrible acts." more >>
An Islamic State security official revealed that when ISIS seized the Yazidi religious minority region of Sinjar in northern Iraq in early August, ISIS militants separated virgin girls from the rest of the captured women for the sole purpose of designating them to be given away as sex prizes to ISIS fighters, a group of anti-Islamic State activists reported.
In an interview with the Syrian activist group called "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently" and published to the group's website on Saturday, an unnamed ISIS security official stationed in Raqqa highlighted the militant organization's sex slave practices and revealed that Yazidi virgins were filtered out from Yazidi married women and mothers so that they could be awarded to ISIS fighters who contributed on the front lines for the militant group.
The ISIS source told the activist group that after battles in northern Iraq, the militants gathered all the detained religious minority women and "captured the virgins, without others." The source said the virgins were then dispersed "exclusively" among the ISIS militants who participated in that particular battle in the region where the virgins were captured. The source added that the militants preferred virgins and did not concen themselves over married or pregnant women. more >>
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is featuring a display showing graphic photos of murder and torture that are said to have been committed under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A Syrian pastor has warned against using the images to justify expanding the war in the country, however.
The Associated Press reported that the photos are from an archive of 55,000 images smuggled out of Syria by a photographer, who has testified in Congress about witnessing the mass killing of prisoners. The journalist, who was only named by the codename "Caesar," said that the massacre was committed under the Assad regime.
"They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn't really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you're confronted with these images, they're impossible to ignore," said Cameron Hudson, director of the museum's Center for the Prevention of Genocide. more >>
Islamic State members now have more to worry about than U.S.-led airstrikes and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters, with the recent increase in guerrilla attacks against them conducted by several Syrian rebel combat groups in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group tracking the conflict, reports that they have seen an increase in the amount of guerrilla attacks on ISIS militants by gunman in the Deir al-Zor province, which alongside the Raqq province to the north, constitutes the biggest cog in the Islamic State threshold in Syria.
The Observatory said there are a number of groups that are conducting attacks on ISIS within the province, which is a major oil region in Syria and is still partly controlled by the government. more >>
The primates of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church have urged Christians around the world to remember and reflect on the 1915 genocide of Armenians and Syriac Christians in Turkey, where up to 2 million people were killed or disappeared without a trace.
"We invite the entire Christian world to unite in prayer at the Armenian Genocide and the Syriac Sayfo centennial commemorative events in 2015. We call upon the civilized world to recognize and condemn the crimes committed against the Armenian and Syriac peoples as well as other Christian communities," read the joint statement by the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, Karekin II, and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, as reported by Fides News Agency on Wednesday.
The 1915 genocide during World War I in the territory of Ottoman Turkey is also known as the Armenian genocide, since Armenians made up close to 1.5 million of the victims. The attacks on Christians eliminated almost the entire Christian population in present day Turkey, leaving almost an entirely Muslim nation. more >>