Afghan Taliban's 2011 Income $400 Million: U.N.

A U.N. Security Council report released Tuesday estimates last year’s Afghan Taliban income at $400 million, a figure that includes funds from donations, taxes and extortion from drug dealers, phone operators and foreign aid projects. The U.N. sanctions monitoring team reported that $275 million of the total income reached Taliban leadership, while the rest was “collected, spent or misappropriated at the local level.” The Taliban imposes a 10 percent harvest tax, a 2.5 percent tax on wealth and sometimes taxes on services such as water or electricity, though the group has no control over them. Other sources of income detailed in the report include contracts funded by the United States and other foreign donors, and the report noted that Afghanistan’s opium trade contributed only a small share of the Taliban's income. With a growing income, the Taliban has launched a growing number of attacks, and reports Tuesday indicated 18 Afghan police officers had defected to the Taliban.

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