BAGHDAD, Iraq — The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified U.S. government report has concluded.
The report estimates that armed groups responsible for many of the insurgent and terrorist attacks across Iraq are raising between $70 million and $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says between $25 million and $100 million of the total comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry that is aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi government officials.
As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid to save hundreds of kidnap victims in Iraq, the report said. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by senior American officials in Iraq as including France and Italy — paid Iraqi kidnappers an estimated $30 million in ransom last year.
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