News - Afghanistan
A United Nations report released Tuesday said that the Taliban raised $400 million in 2011 through taxes, donations, and extortion money from businesses and aid projects in Afghanistan.
The report to the UN Security Council by the sanctions monitoring team said that about $275 million of that income reached the militant group's leadership and the rest was collected, spent or misappropriated at the local level.
"The team understands Taliban funding as follows: revenue raised from taxing the local economy serves primarily to support local operations and is only in a few cases channeled upwards," it said.
It warned against a general perception that the Taliban's main source of income was Afghanistan's opium poppy economy.
The Taliban has also taken hundreds of millions of dollars from Afghanistan's development projects, according to the report.
It said donations are a "major" source of funding, which also go to militia leaders.
Afghanistan has long been the world's leading supplier of opium, accounting for about 90 percent of global output.
The report said Afghan officials estimated that the Taliban earned about $100 million in 2011/2012 from opium, a small amount given the annual value of the drug crop is estimated at $3.6 billion to $4 billion.
The report suggested that the Islamist group's income is growing.
"Since 2006 the Taliban have managed to finance an ever-increasing number of attacks, reflecting a year-on-year increase in income," it said.
Isaf estimated that the Taliban spent between $100 million and $155 million of its income launching attacks in 2011, while the rest maintained the insurgency, according to the UN report.