In 2013 alone, the group’s report claimed nearly 10,000 operations in Iraq: 1,000 assassinations, 4,000 improvised explosive devices planted and hundreds of radical prisoners freed. In the same year it claimed hundreds of “apostates” had been turned.
There's a very good reason for ISIS to have an annual report for investors, namely the fact that it has them and they want to know what bang they're getting for their buck. This was always the case with jihadist groups, but arguably the intense competition forged in Syrian militia startup culture has led to potential investors wanting more, so to speak, than to take their investments on faith. This is probably especially true of ISIS since it is competing directly with the official Al-qaeda franchise for Syria in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra. The War Nerd has a nice summary of jihadist enterprise culture.
Syria was a wide-open market for jihadi organizers, free to operate openly over most of the country after decades of effective repression. Money was pouring in from fat armchair jihadis in Saudi, Kuwait, and the Emirates—enough to pay jihadis a first-world salary of $1,500/mo. If you had a good line of patter and a few Quranic passages memorized, you could score some investment money. And military entrepreneurs poured in to take advantage of the opportunity; so many that by 2013, there were 1,200 different jihadi groups operating in Syria.
These baby militias popped up, prospered for a while, then vanished like Ethiopian restaurants. And out of the chaos, ISIS was ready to make its move, with a decade of guerrilla knowledge gained the hard way over the border in Iraq.
Well yes, indeed. If you want to take full advantage of the disruption economy you have to be - wjhat's the word? - savvy. Of course, now it has the Mosul treasury at its disposal ISIS will be able to go beyond reports and organize conferences, trips to the safer parts of the battlespace, opportunities to execute apostates and kindred investor relations stunts to build on its successful too crazy for al-Qaeda branding operation. It's all part of being passionate about what you do.