The Taliban, who have taken control of Afghanistan on Sunday, is a militant organisation operating in the Afghan territory. Their worth is said to be over $400 million, according to Forbes.
In 2016, when Forbes released its list of 10 richest terrorist organisations, the Taliban was named fifth with a revenue of $400 million. The richest of them was ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) with a turnover then of $2 billion.
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According to Forbes 2016 report, the Taliban’s primary sources of revenue were drug trafficking, protection money, and donations, and this 5 years back when it was not even the dominant force in Afghanistan.
However, according to a NATO confidential report accessed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the annual budget of the Taliban in the financial year 2019-20 had been $1.6 Billion.
This means a 400% increase in four years when compared to the Forbes figures of 2016.
The exact source of revenue of a terrorist organisation cannot be determined, but as per the NATO confidential report, their key sources were mining, international donations, drug trafficking, extortion or protection money, export, and real estate.
RFE/RF also provided a breakdown of the revenues by listing the sources and amount earned for a clear understanding of the Taliban’s earnings.
Mining: $464 million
Drugs: $416 million
Foreign Donations: $240 million
Export: $240 million
Taxes: $160 million (Protection/Extortion money?)
Real Estate: $80 million
The NATO reported also mentioned a point that the militant organisation was aiming for self-reliance and less dependency on foreign donations to become an independent political and military entity.
For the past few years, the organisation is attempting to reduce dependence on international organisations. An India Today report said, “In 2017-18 the Taliban had reportedly received an estimated $500 million or about half of its total funding then from foreign sources; this had reduced to roughly 15% of their total revenues, by 2020.