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Cash-Strapped ISIS Fighters Pay For Brides In Guns And Suicide Bombs

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Islamic State fighters in Libya have resorted to paying bridal dowries in AK-47s and suicide vests, according to documents seized by pro-government forces.

The documents belonged to the terrorist group’s “Judicial and Complaints Department,” seized during operations clearing out ISIS fighters from their coastal stronghold of Sirte. Included in the trove are marriage contracts and divorce rulings, which show cash-strapped ISIS fighters having to pay for brides with ordnance, as opposed to cash, which is the Islamic custom.

In one example dated November 31, 2015, an ISIS member named Abu Mansour was unable to pay a dowry for his Nigerian bride Miriam. Instead, he promised a suicide belt should he die or divorce Miriam.

Another Nigerian bride named Fatima was bequeathed an AK-47 assault rifle pending her husband Malian Abu Said’s death, or the couple’s divorce.

ISIS’s Libya branch, also known as Wilayat Barqa, has taken serious losses ever since Libyan government forces and their allies besieged and invaded Sirte in May. Pro-government forces made significant gains in August, thanks in no small part to support from U.S. air power. The invasions force’s momentum has been recently slowed due to ISIS’s use of car bombs, snipers and guerrilla tactics.

ISIS’s main territories in Syria and Iraq have been equally short on money in recent months. U.S. and coalition forces participating in Operation Inherent Resolve made a specific point to target the so-called caliphate’s cash reserves earlier this year, which has forced ISIS to drastically cut the salaries of its fighters.

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