Iraq Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Iraq’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) that is fighting in Syria is estimated to be collecting over $1 Million a month from extortion rackets in Northern Iraq.

According to intelligence from security agencies, the group has expanded on collecting payments from businesses and shop owners since late 2012 and into 2013. The group runs its extortion rackets in the city of Mosul.

In an example of the type of demands made, a computer repair shop owner was told to pay $114,000 for jihad, according to a report in NPR. The group would call the man and tell him to leave the money in a bag. The man never saw the individuals, and was threatened that the ISIS has many people working for them to kill those that do not pay the extortion fee.

(More information on how organized crime extort money.)

Source:  Alice Fordham, “For Extremists In Syria, Extortion Brings Piles Of Cash From Iraq,” NPR, April 21, 2014.

People smugglers operating in Australia were charging asylum seekers up to $10,000 to be smuggled into Australia, according to reports from criminal justice programs.

In 2012, police identified 278 boats that was carrying  asylum seekers and operated by people smugglers. In the first six months of 2013, nearly 196 boats were identified by police.

Data from various criminal justice programs across the country found that most of the people paying smugglers to be brought into Australia originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

(Additional prices charged by human smugglers.)

Source:  “Arrests over people-smuggling in Australia,” Al Jazeera, August 29, 2013.

In 2013, a member of the Iraqi Parliament stated that up to 20 percent the country’ investment budget was subject to money laundering. According to calculations conducted by Al Monitor, the amount of money laundering that takes place in Iraq is $9 Billion per year.

(More money laundering examples.)

Source: Omar al-Shaher, “Iraqi Official Estimates Money Laundering to Be in the Billions,” Al-Monitor, August 21, 2013.


Corruption within the criminal justice system of Iraq is reported to be rampant in the 10 year anniversary of the US invasion.

According to a media report, a prisoner in the Iraqi prison system stated that he had to pay $100 to prison guards in order to take a single shower.

Other reports state that even though a judge may set someone free, the person must still pay numerous bribes in order to be released.

Police officers are also reported to shakedown citizens because they need to recuperate the bribe they paid in order to become a police officer.

(Additional examples of police corruption.)

Source:  Patrick Cockburn, “Iraq 10 years on: How Baghdad became a city of corruption,” Independent, March 4, 2013.

A report by the United States Special Inspector General states that $1 Billion per week is leaving Iraq. The report states that up to 80 percent of the money leaving is believed to consist of various money laundering techniques.

Source:  Tony Capaccio, “Iraq Violence Surges Amid Corruption, U.S. Report Finds,” Bloomberg Businessweek, October 30, 2012.

In the seven years after the 2003 war in Iraq, the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq estimates that around 4,000 women disappeared from the country due to human trafficking activities. One fifth of the disappeared women between 2003 and 2010 were under the age of 18.

Source: Laura Smith-Spark, “Silent victims: Iraqi women trafficked for sex, report says,” CNN, November 9, 2011.

Virgin teenage girls in Iraq are reported to be sold to human traffickers for $5,000, double the price of non-virgins. The girls are trafficked to Northern Iraq, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.

Within Iraq, sex with a prostitute costs $100 per session.

Source: Rebecca Murry, “Female Trafficking Soars in Iraq,” IPS, August 27, 2011.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

The price to have sex with a teenage prostitute in Kurdish controlled areas of Iraq was $150 in 2011. The reported price for sex with a prostitutes tends to become cheaper as the age of the prostitute increases.

Lap dances for several hours costs around $200, with additional costs for sex.

There were about 400 locations of prostitution in the forms of massage parlors and hotels  in one province of Iraqi Kurdistan in 2011.

(More prices of prostitution around the world.)

Source: AFP, “Kurdish MP fights battle to legalise prostitution,” Google News, August 13, 2011.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

In 2011, the Iraqi Parliament began investigations in reports that 20,000 government officials used fake diplomas and degrees to obtain their jobs.

Fake degrees and diplomas are traded on the black market in Iraq for prices between $1,500 to $7,000.

(Fake diploma certificates and other academic degrees information.)

Source: Wagdy Sawahel, “UAE: Smart system to prevent degree fraud,” University World News, July 24, 2011.

Between April and June of 2011, six to seven Iraqis were kidnapped each month. The average ransom paid to the kidnappers was $50,000.

In  Kirkuk Province, there were over 60 reported cases of kidnapping for ransom in 2010. In 2011, 30 cases have been reported in the first 5 months of the year.

Source:  AFP, “Blind date to blindfold: the kidnap business in Iraq,” Google News, August 5, 2011.