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LONDON — ISIS is planning to mint its own currency, the Islamist terror group said in a statement. The gold, silver and copper coins will be issued to replace the "oppressive monetary system imposed on Muslims that led to their enslavement and the wasting of the wealth of the nation," said the statement, which was verified by NBC News counterterrorism consultancy Flashpoint Intelligence. ISIS declared the establishment of a caliphate— or Islamic state — after overrunning huge chunks of Iraq and Syria. The group also has imposed its own laws and claimed the Syrian city of Raqqa for its capital.
The statement said ISIS's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had instructed a "monetary court" to issue the currency based on the price of gold and silver. Having its own coins was another "pillar of what he sees as the Islamic State," said Laith Alkhouri, director of Middle East and North Africa research for Flashpoint Intelligence. The announcement was accompanied by an audio statement from al-Baghdadi calling on supporters to "erupt volcanoes of jihad."