Video shows millions of dollars of Islamic State funds being destroyed in airstrike

The aerial footage shows a building being targeted in Mosul in Iraq

Video shows millions of dollars of Islamic State funds being destroyed in airstrike

Image: US Department of Defence

A video has shown millions of dollars of Islamic State (IS) funds being blown up in an American airstrike.

The aerial footage, released by the US Defense Department, shows a building being targeted in Mosul - the extremist group's main stronghold in Iraq.

Clouds of paper bills quickly fill the air as the building is flattened by two 2,000-pound bombs.

The Pentagon said several millions of dollars in cash were destroyed, but the exact amount is not known.

The US-led coalition has been targeting IS oil resources and cash piles in the hope of sapping its financial strength.

IS earns an estimated $450m (around €412m) a year from oil production in its territory in Iraq and Syria.

The terror group also has a small army of tax collectors raking in nearly as much from zakat tax, a form of almsgiving in Islam, according to the Financial Times.

Zakat requires Muslims to hand over part of their income - and can be given to those who are fighting for a holy cause.

IS takes 2.5% of capital from wealthy residents and businesses, 5% of irrigated crops and 10% of rain-fed crops from farmers.

The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year, the FT said.

It even collected $23m (€21m) in taxes on salaries the Iraqi government paid to officials in Mosul after the city was taken over by IS.

You can read more about how IS fund their operations in our two-part series, here and here.