The Islamic State group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) — is reportedly selling organs harvested from its own fighters in Iraq. The terrorist group has lost the iron grip it once had in the country, with paranoia replacing the tyranny that was once seen in its stronghold of Mosul.
Isis was earlier accused of trafficking children and organs of civilians for money as their other sources of income -- selling oil from Iraq in the black or grey markets and kidnapping people for ransom -- have dried up. The terrorist organisation has also reportedly received funds from state actors, and has been known to plunder the areas it controls.
However, with fund flow drying up from abroad and the terrorist group losing ground to advancing Iraqi and US-led coalition forces, it is now looking to other sources of income, the latest of them being selling the organs of its own injured fighters.
How it is being done
According to Al Sumaira TV, Isis has stolen organs from dozens of its fighters lying injured in hospitals across the Nineveh province in Iraq, and passed them on to their intermediaries in Syria so that they could sell them to international organ-trafficking and smuggling gangs.
The report quoted a source as saying that a special medical cell of Isis stole organs, including kidneys, of at least 85 of the organisations own fighters who are admitted to hospitals across Nineveh with injuries, and transported them to other locations under tight security.
The source was also quoted as saying that this kind of organ-stealing was initially limited to civilians, but Isis has now widened its scope to include anyone who comes for treatment in hospitals controlled by it. He also confirmed that this was helping the terrorist group supplement its income.
'Even the dead are not spared'
The source also told the news outlet that even the dead were not being spared from this fate, with organs being harvested from all cadavers that are passing through Isis-controlled hospitals in Iraq. The organs are reportedly being bought at a premium by Arab and other foreign nationals. It is also reported that the bodies from which the organs are harvested are being thrown in a pit.