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Islamic State currency

November 14, 2014

Hours after an audio recording of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi surfaced online, the jihadist terrorist group has released plans to mint its own coins. The currency will be used in IS-held "caliphates."

Islamic State coins

The jihadist terrorist group Islamic State (IS) announced plans late on Thursday to begin minting its own gold, silver and copper coins, which will be used in areas under IS control in Syria and Iraq, often referred to as a "caliphate."

The statement, published on jihadist forums, said the aim of the jihadist monetary system was to counter the widely-used US dollar and replace "the tyrannical currency system that was imposed on the Muslims and leads to their oppression." The coins would free Muslims from "profiteering, satanical economic oppression," the statement added.

Islamic symbols

Pictures released of the coin designs show the words "Islamic State" and "a caliphate following the model of the Prophet" (Muhammad, the founder of Islam) engraved on one side, as well as the value and weight of the coin. On the other side of the coins various symbols are used. A world map appears on the gold five-dinar coin, while the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem where Muhammad prayed is detailed on the silver 10-dirham. The copper coins portray the crescent moon and three palm trees, which are also significant symbols in Islam.

Unlike the modern form of the dinar, used today in some Muslim countries, the Islamic dinar would, like the ancient dinar, be made of pure gold and silver. It currently remains unclear, however, as to how IS intend to obtain the precious metals to make the coins. Experts believe IS is financed predominantly through crude oil sales, ransoms for kidnappings and the extortion of local populations under IS control.

Rule of terror

In a separate post on Thursday, "Islamic State" also published a 17-minute audio recording in which the terror group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, vowed to press on with plans to extend his caliphate into countries beyond Iraq and Syria.

A UN report, released on Friday, also said the self-proclaimed IS is guilty of war crimes on a massive scale in northern Syria and Iraq, including beheading, stoning and shooting of civilians and captured fighters. Eyewitnesses said people there were subjected to a "rule of terror."

ksb/sb (AFP, AP)