By on April 28, 2016

used cars (Martin Kleppe/Flickr)

We’ve all dealt with a car salesman who wanted us to sign our life away on an overpriced import, but there’s a good chance that’s literally happening in Iraq right now.

Reuters reports that Islamic State fighters have taken to running car dealerships as a way of making money, now that allied airstrikes have cut off much of their oil-generated income.

Not long ago, the group claimed an (estimated) annual income of $2.9 billion from their seized oil fields and related gasoline-selling operations, but bombs aimed at the group’s financial infrastructure put the kibosh on their prosperity.

Revenues are down by a third, and fighters that planned to live the high life while butchering people are now bummed over their pay cut.

So, the bloodthirsty group than shuns diversity has been forced to diversify the business side of their operation, taking over car dealerships and state-run factories to generate some cash.  We can only imagine what that dealer experience is like.

“You want to terminate a lease? I’ll terminate YOU!”

Money generated from vehicle sales flows to the group’s finance ministry in the northern Iraq city of Mosul (the site of a looming allied offensive), where it’s then distributed to fighters in ISIS-controlled territory.

If the salesman life is too stressful, ISIS has another fallback operation: fishing.

People need fish, right? If you can help it, never buy a fish — or a car — from ISIS. Can’t be trusted.

If you’re looking to get a sense of your average ISIS fighter’s sales prowess (“Undercoating ISN’T optional! Did you hear me!?”), check out this helmet cam video of clumsy ISIS fighters hitting each other with hot spent shell casings and burning each other with RPG exhaust.

Now picture that at the Mosul Pre-Owned Emporium.

[Image: Martin Kleppe/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)]

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53 Comments on “ISIS Branches Out Into Car Dealerships; Read the Fine Print Carefully...”

  • avatar

    If your dealer murders you, it’s your own damned fault.


  • avatar

    I’m glad ISIS is so benign that we can make jokes about it now.

    • 0 avatar

      There were jokes about Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin to name a few.

      Some dark, some macabre, but one of humanities’ way of dealing with bad people is always humor. Taking a funny situation like a terrorist org selling used cars?

      Comedy gold.

    • 0 avatar

      ISIS is not a threat to USA. I am more terrified about Climate Change than ISIS. Pentagon has to fight Climate Change instead if you want to know my opinion. We can leave Russia to deal with a sad joke which is ISIS. We just wasting money on all those advanced weapon systems which could be better spend on new energy saving and clean technologies and helping poor around the globe.

  • avatar

    Car dealers are in a cut throat business.

  • avatar

    Every auto sold will have TRD Terrorist Ready Division option.

  • avatar

    It’s asymmetrical warfare. I have a feeling their best operatives are strolling in Cologne, Milan, Nice, and Cuidad Juarez. Only their homers are flogging cars.

  • avatar

    Does the road hazard warranty cover damage by improvised explosive devices?

  • avatar

    I’ve always wanted a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup with optional bed-mounted machine gun.

    • 0 avatar

      Needz moar Nissan Hardbody.

      “Taliban Taxi”.

      They’ll be happy to accept $500/down (in US dollars, of course) or your *three* most loyal wives as an alternative to such.

    • 0 avatar

      I love bed mounted machine guns. Or heck, a machine gun mounted anywhere on a new truck. That is an option that would make paying $100K for a pickup more tolerable. For all the smack we talk about Isis, that’s one area where they have our supposed “land of the free” soundly beaten.

  • avatar

    That’s one car dealership where you do not want to speak to the sales manager!

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know what’s worse, the incoming mortar as a result or an incoming sandal.

      You must endure great shame!!!

      All seriousness, didn’t President Bush get a sandal thrown at him?? Lol

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    The cars must be perfect. The sales experience is perfect. No one ever brings their car back for warranty work. They have had ZERO Lemon Law complaints. In fact, no customer has ever complained about ANYTHING. Is there any American dealership that can match that record of customer satisfaction?

  • avatar

    They may be trying to hack on a global scale.

  • avatar

    Women need not apply for a car loan unless in the name of her husband, and if she will not be driving.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I was expecting to read that they were selling cars with GPS enabled explosives in them rigged to go off at certain locations.

    I would expect it to be cost prohibitive but if you put enough of them on the road, one is bound to drive by a target.

    We should be taking ISIS as well as North Korea more seriously. I’m sure when the Nazis started they screwed a bunch of stuff up the first few times. But eventually, with enough practice, you can become really good at being evil.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, I’d say ISIS and North Korea compete with the Nazis on the evil scale…but on the capability to inflict massive, world-war-starting, millions-dead damage? Not so much. You need real economic power to do that, and I’m sorry, some radical Arabs and Kim Jong Whoever don’t have it. If Speer could answer from the grave, he’d agree.

      And I’d argue that our 10,000 nukes are a decent deterrence to North Korea. I think the whole world has been looking for an excuse to take that regime out for a LONG time.

      I’m far more worried about Russia at this point.

      • 0 avatar

        Technology, starvation, and access to information is eroding the stranglehold Kim has in North Korea. Eventually, people will get hungry enough that they’ll revolt. Right now, their illegal cell phone is starting to shout more loudly than the loudspeaker in the village square.

      • 0 avatar

        “our 10,000 nukes are a decent deterrence to North Korea”

        A Pandora’s Box that a civilized human being (edit: society) should never open again.

  • avatar

    ISIS is selling used cars? Is there no end to the depths of their depravity?

  • avatar

    Talk about your subprime deal…guy puts “suicide bomber” down on his app as employment and gets bought.

  • avatar

    What’s the big headline about? About 20% of everyone I saw today at the auction probably has some sort of ISIS or SDN/OFAC Watch List affiliation.

    • 0 avatar

      Tells you a lot about the car biz.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, I believe it is far worse than that, and it has been going on since after the end of WWII.

        Crooks, drug dealers, etc, all have sought to tie up fortunes in cars. At one time that included classic Harley motorcycles.

        I went to one of those Federal auctions in El Paso, TX, years ago and the luxo cars, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratti’s, Porsches, and other classics confiscated by the Feds was mind-boggling.

        No reason why a modern-day ISIS would function any differently. Fast & Furious had drug dealers tie up money in weaponry, aided and abetted by the US Border Patrol of ICE. Remember that?

  • avatar

    More a triad of a struggle between the dictator, military and party. Executing his uncle sent a message to the party. Executing some generals a message that way. The dictator is firmly in charge.

    • 0 avatar

      I have four schools of thought on the Jang Song-thaek assassination:

      -Jang actually led a coup backed by the Army or WPK which was unsuccessful for whatever reason.

      -Jang was in general thought to be a threat and after a number disputes over who controls what in the Hermit Kingdom, Jong-un’s patience wore thin.

      -Jang was eliminated at the behest of, or with at least approval of, his estranged wife Kim Kyong-hui, paternal aunt and blood relative of Kim Jong-un. Her motive stems partially from their estrangement but also I have read may be tied to the suicide of their only daughter in 2006 (He supposedly opposed who she was dating and she committed suicide, no joke). Kim_Kyong-hui is rumored to be in ill health or even dead, with some rumors putting her demise after Jang’s death either by tumor, suicide, or poisoning.

      -Jang, his staff, allies, and possibly his estranged wife were all eliminated by Kim Jong-un in order to break people in the chain tied to his grandfather, Kim il-Sung, because HE is being styled to physically resemble and effectively be the new il-Sung.

      I believe the first to be unlikely as Jang was already more or less in charge of most things, thus making a coup unnecessary. Jang also was in a position to eliminate Jong-un in 2011 and bring in Kim Jong-il’s older estranged son Kim-Jong-nam from Singapore to act as a figurehead if he really did not want Jong-un in charge. Occam’s razor suggests the second answer being the most likely, but I am personally more inclined to believe three or four, or some combination of the two. One thing is clear: Kim Jong-il’s cronys are no longer in charge by-and-large.

  • avatar
    April S

    Next thing you know they will be going door to door selling candy bars and magazine subscriptions.

  • avatar

    Yes, but not one of their vehicles has emissions defeating software. There is a limit to their depravity.

  • avatar

    The worst part about an ISIS-owned dealership is that you’d probably be forced to finance your vehicle through their exclusive finance partner, Santander Iraq.

  • avatar

    And the ownership document hasn’t been signed by the previous owner as for some reason he is not available. His daughters might be though…
    Those sick pieces of sh*t. Imagine that; one moment you are trying to live a normal life house, family, car, job, the next the men and boys are murdered and rotting in mass graves, the women and girls enslaved and the family’s possessions pored over by filthy savages.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Sami’s Hot Car Lot? Our prices are EXPLOSIVE!

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Hot deal of the week!
    Toyota pickup for only 10,000 dinars!
    Slight shrapnel damage and/or carpet blood stains.

  • avatar

    Whew ~
    You’re a tough bunch here .

  • avatar

    I’ll take the Mercedes in the middle

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